If you’re like me, you wake up in the morning with your mobile device inches away, and immediately log on to check your social media accounts. You find out what your friends, family, and favorite brands have been doing while you slept and who liked and commented on your latest post. And you do it without even thinking twice.
Social media has created a layer in our lives, which sometimes goes unnoticed. In every sense, it is a recap of our lives. Whether we are posting to friends’ walls, taking selfies at concerts, or chronicling our latest spring break shenanigans, it’s out there for most people to see – including employers.
One of the first things an employer will do when you apply for a job is Google your name. The results will provide most of the social media platforms that you belong to – unless your privacy settings are adjusted to prevent that from happening. Check out these simple tips for keeping the posts on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts between you and your friends:
1. When you Google your name, does your Facebook profile appear in the search engine results?
Yes: Your privacy settings are allowing search engines to index your profile. Employers have an easy pathway to finding you on Facebook.
How to Fix: When logged in to Facebook, in the top right you will notice a small lock symbol. Click on the symbol. Next, choose the See More Settings option and it will direct you to your privacy settings and tools.
The last option asks, “Do you want search engines to link to your timeline?” This setting should be set to NO so your profile will not appear within search engine results.
No: You’re off to a good start! Search engines aren’t linking to your Facebook timeline, so it will be difficult for people to find your profile.
2. Does your Twitter profile have a lock symbol next to your name?
Yes: Nice move! Your tweets are protected. This means that if a potential employer lands on your profile, your tweets are only visible if they request to follow you.
No: Your tweets are vulnerable! When employers view your Twitter profile, they will be able to view all of your tweets, which may be a concern for potential hiring.
How To Fix: When logged in to Twitter, click on the gear icon in the top right and select Settings. There will be several tabs on the right within you settings. Click on Security and Privacy; there will be an option called Protect My Tweets. If selected, only those you approve will receive your tweets.
Your future tweets will not be available publicly. Tweets posted previously may still be publicly visible in some places. Make sure to scroll down and hit save!
3. Is your Instagram account Private or Public?
Your Instagram account will be indexed within Google search results when you name is Googled. Make sure you have a respectable profile picture and bio description.
As for your individual photo privacy, setting your Instagram account to Private will not allow anyone to see your addiction to selfies, cats, or food dishes without requesting to follow you first.
How do you fix this? When logged in to Instagram on your mobile device, click on your profile, and you will see an option that says Edit Your Profile right under your post and follower stats. When you scroll down the You’re Your Profile screen, there will be an option at the bottom to switch your posts to Private. This will hide all of your individual posts from any non-followers.
While many college graduates and new workers continue to utilize social media for lasting memories of their personal life, it’s very important to do a thorough search of all your social media accounts for sensitive material that my collide with a potential job opportunity.
You are now allowed to take a selfie.
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