Social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have become part of our everyday lives. They are a great way to share information, ideas and images, but what you are telling the world about yourself each time you post? If a recruiter were to take a look at your timeline, what might they think?

According to a 2018 survey by US-based online employment website, CareerBuilder, 70% of hiring managers screen candidates’ social media accounts. What are they looking for? First, reasons not to hire you, such as posts about drinking and drug use, discriminatory comments or potential links to criminal behaviour. However, what managers see can also work in your favour and lead to a job offer. Big plus points on social media include evidence of creativity, professionalism and good communication skills. The message is clear: use social media to promote a positive message about yourself.

Obviously, this may be easier said than done, especially if you’ve been tweeting and posting for years without a second thought. Here, however, are a few ideas to polish up your online presence:

Ensure your profile looks professional

Where better to start than with your headshot? On LinkedIn, especially, ensure that you are appropriately dressed for the roles you are applying for. Tidy up your Facebook and Twitter profiles too so that anyone stopping by for a peek comes away with a good first impression.

Clean up your content

Take the time to go over your posts and photos and remove those that could be seen as unprofessional, inappropriate or offensive. If you are especially concerned, consider running a scan through an online reputation management site, such as BrandYourself or Removify. These providers will identify posts, updates and images that may be flagged during an online screening – and will then help you clean them up.

Think about what you are posting before you post

This applies to every social networking site you use. Post photos, information and comments that show you in a positive light. Use your privacy settings, but don’t believe that they will guarantee you 100% privacy. The reality is that your content can still be copied and communicated outside a private group of family and friends. Last year’s rant about your current employer might suddenly rear its ugly head!

Use an alternative channel to share news with family and friends

There are some great apps out there that enable you to share your photos and news selectively with a small group of people. Maybe now is the time to change your social media habits?

Remember, your digital footprint is permanent, so make sure you leave a good one for potential recruiters to find.

At Optimal Recruitment, we are always on the lookout for professional, positive candidates. To discuss current vacancies, please contact one of our team on 02 8416 4181.