Did you know that 92% of employers today include information they find about you from social media sites in the hiring process?
Thinking back to my early college days, I recall a friend of mine having another friend take a picture of him standing on top of a building in Asia “buck naked” (backside facing) while wielding a Samari sword.
But let’s face it, there are some things we’ve posted (or others have posted about us) that we’d rather were left off or kept private. Maybe it’s an embarrassing situation or could be as innocent as a bad hair day.
What should you do? Here’s five tips for job-proofing your social life:
1. Google Your Name
This is a good first step to make sure what comes up is what you think. Try a few different searches because chances are good there’s another person with your name. So try “Karen Jones”, “Karen Jones dental hygienist”, and “Karen Jones Illinois” or “Karen Jones Chicago dental hygienist”. I would suggest you look several search pages deep. If you find something you don’t want them to see or read, then go about cleaning it up.
2. Complete a LinkedIn Profile
Related to Googling your name, create and/complete a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the social media site for working professionals. It’s basically your resume online, including your work history, education, and some of your interests. But it’s strictly professional and the cool thing is when someone “Googles” your name often what will surface near the top of the results is your LinkedIn page – that’s what you want employers to find. But complete the profile so that it satisfies most if not all of their curiosity about who you are.
3. Get Professional Pictures
As I work with clients I am surprised that very few have professional pictures of themselves. I know, it takes time and even some money but they really make a great impression and that’s what you want in job hunting, right? I would even recommend you take it a step further and have some nice pictures of you taken in a dental setting or at least with your lab coat on – possibly even some action shots of you working. These are great because they help potential employers more easily envision you as a dental professional. Us these pictures on your social pages, paper resume, video resume, resume website, postcards, business cards – everywhere!
4. Platform Privacy Settings
It’s not a guarantee your privacy will stay private. Facebook is notorious for changing and tweaking them and sometimes we just don’t know about it. They may not be what you originally had them set at or maybe you’ve changed your mind since setting theup. But if you are about to embark on a job search make sure they are set the way you want them.
5. Pro-Actively Share
Since we already know potential employers are going to do some searching, consider giving it to them upfront. In your cover letter and resume (and other job hunting materials), consider including a social media address or two. Most potential employers just want to know more about the “real” you so if give them a taste of that it may satisfy that curiosity and they won’t bother searching.