How to Job-Proof Your Social Network

Fired

“I would like to extend you a job offer.”

These are the words that everyone wants to hear, but your social media page could stand between you and your job offer. The misconception is that a great resume and cover letter are the key to getting a job. Wrong! Maybe 10 years ago. Today, social media plays a huge part in the application and screening process.

Let’s just pretend that both of these pictures are not me. You’re a hiring manager who has it narrowed down to two candidates, which one would you choose?

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Candidate 1: Grenade Drinking Gina

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Candidate 2: Newspaper Reading Nancy

Candidate two has my vote. Here are small actions you can take to job-proof your social network.

1. Delete incriminating photos of yourself.

So, what’s incriminating? The pictures that show you’re guilty of nonprofessional behavior. If you are doing any of the following, please delete: drunk, throwing up gang signs, smoking illegal substances, and under arrest. Also, change your settings to where you have to approve photos that you’re tagged in. This will avoid your friends posting pictures of you in your unpleasant moments.

2. Make your profile private.

You can always make your profile private to the public. People who aren’t your friends will have limited access to view your page. My personal profile is unsearchable. You can only see my entire profile or request to be my friend if we have a mutual friend.  I once had an employer get access to my page through a Facebook friend who worked for the company. It’s a very small world.

3. Tell employers where to go.

Include a link in your resume or email that tells employers where to go. This allows you to control what profile the hiring manager views. I always include a link to my LinkedIn profile when applying for a position.  LinkedIn is a professional network, so there shouldn’t be any casual photos on there.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you job-proof your social media network? Let me know in the comments!

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