In today’s digital world, your online presence or digital identity has a huge impact on your career. Your online activities can be used by recruiters and potential clients to judge your skills and suitability for a job. This is especially true if you have a career in technology.
Therefore, paying attention to how you use or behave on social media is very important when looking for a job or building your career. If your social media pages are littered with content that harms your employability, you will need to clean it up. Here’s a guide to get you started.
1. Google yourself
One of the first things recruiters do when selecting candidates for a job is to Google their names. What they see (or don’t see) often weighs heavily on how they process your application. If you don’t have any social media presence, this could be a dent in your resume.
If you have a massive presence, but Google is making headlines about you, that’s not a good thing either. You can get ahead of recruiters and leads by Google frequently searching to see what’s going on.
Here are some tips to help you with the process:
- Google tends to personalize search results. Unfortunately, that means you might not see the same thing a recruiter or potential client sees. To resolve this issue, make sure to search for your name through incognito mode or without your Google Account signed in.
- Google your name next to social media sites for which you have an account. Something like: “John Doe site: Facebook.com” or “John Doe site: LinkedIn.com” should show more relevant results.
- When you search for your name on Google, switch to the Google Image tab to see what type of images each social media site has associated with your name.
- Specialized social media cleanup tools like BrandYourself.com can help you narrow down the dirt Google has picked up on you.
2. Delete or hide inappropriate messages
It’s easy to swipe and share content that might come back to hurt you. After digging up what Google has found about you on social media, it’s time to start an internal cleanup. First, locate all the inappropriate content that Google has linked to your social media account and delete it.
Unfortunately, some gunk on your social networks may not show up in a Google search. For those, you’ll have to scour your social media accounts to find them.
Delete multiple messages on Twitter at once
- Visit Twitter.com/recherche-avancée on your internet browser.
- If you think you’ve made inappropriate comments on a hashtag in the past, enter the hashtag in the input box titled These hashtags.
- Likewise, if you think you have used inappropriate words or phrases in the past, enter the phrase (s) in the box titled This exact expression Where Any of these words, and then tap search.
- Find and remove inappropriate post items.
- Visit tweetdeleter.com or tweetdelete.net from your web browser.
- On both websites, you should find a button that says Connect with Twitter.
- Log into your Twitter account.
- After logging in, you will find a tweet filter similar to Twitter’s advanced search tool. Choose the option you want and proceed to delete your old tweets.
Delete a post on your LinkedIn profile
- Visit LinkedIn.com on your desktop web browser.
- At the top of the page, locate and click Me> Messages and activity.
- Your activity page should appear. Then in the upper right corner of any posted item you want to remove, click the three dots> Delete message> Delete to remove post items.
Your LinkedIn profile is your professional identity. There are things you should never post on your LinkedIn profile.
Delete multiple Facebook posts at once
To remove multiple posts from your Facebook profile at once:
- On your Facebook app, click on the menu bar in the top right corner.
- Scroll down and click Settings> Activity log> Manage posts.
- Check the boxes behind each item you want to remove, click Basket and press Yes to delete.
3. Delete old or duplicate accounts
Social media accounts you’ve abandoned could be a problem. They may contain posts that you have posted in the past that do not accurately reflect who you are today. Unfortunately, potential clients and employers could still judge you for it.
If you have misplaced accounts that you can’t vouch for, delete them to make sure it won’t harm your digital identity.
Delete or deactivate a Facebook account
To permanently delete or temporarily deactivate an old or duplicate Facebook account:
- Log into your account on your Facebook app.
- Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of your app screen.
- Scroll down and press Settings> Personal information> Account ownership and control> Deactivation and deletion
- On the next screen, select either Deactivation Where Erasure and click Carry on
- Enter your password in the password prompt and click Carry on to deactivate or delete your account
Deactivate a Twitter account
To delete an old or duplicate Twitter account:
- Open the Twitter app on Android or iPhone.
- Tap the menu icon, then Settings and privacy> Account> Deactivate your account> Deactivate
- Enter your password in the password prompt and press Deactivate, followed by Yes to deactivate.
4. Customize your handle and profile links
Your username and social media credentials are among the first things visitors to your profile will notice when they knock on the door. It is an extension of your professional identity.
Your profile URL and username help shape a visitor’s first impression of you. The best practice is to use your real name – and the same or at least very similar names – on all social media platforms. Your first and last name or your first and middle name should do the trick.
Consistency is very important. Username personalization tools such as namechk.com, knowem.com, and usernamecheck.com will help you choose a username that is both available as a web domain and unused on over 90 social networks.
For social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, you should ideally use the full name that appears on your resume or other business documents. However, while you should stick to your real name on LinkedIn and Facebook, your preferred name can be used on other social networks. As is often the case, you can get creative by adding a qualifier to your name.
If you present yourself as an email writer or cryptocurrency expert, you can do something like:
- [Your Name]+ Editor
- [Your Name]_Bitcoins
- [Your Name]_Editor
The trick is to lead with a business name, followed by a qualifier like your industry or location. This will make your profile both intentional and professional. You can customize your profile URL on LinkedIn and Facebook to make it more professional, so be sure to take advantage of the feature.
5. Follow the professionals and the organization concerned
Your social media feed reflects the type of accounts you follow and interact with. Follow the paparazzi accounts and you will only get pictures of cute cats and celebrity memes. It’s good to have a social life, but you don’t want memes the only thing your potential employers see on your calendar.
Proactively track relevant accounts in your industry. Share your opinions on what they share and jump on relevant trends. This will help make your feeds or timeline more relevant and appealing to recruiters.
While you’re following relevant accounts, it’s a good idea to stop following those that don’t add business value to your social presence.
A cleaning is worth the stress
The tedious process of cleaning up your social networks can seem like overkill. However, just as your physical appearance can judge you, your social media identity can also be used to judge your personality.
Take the initiative and put yourself in a favorable position for the arrival of recruiters.
Have you decided to delete your social media accounts? Here’s how to delete Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
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