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How to manage your social media footprint

Career fairs are coming up quickly and CCO interview rooms are booked with recruiters… You’ve got your resume perfected, your suit ready to go, nothing can stop you now, right? Wrong…

It’s easy to overlook the not-so-obvious details in your job search, such as your social media presence. Though some companies forgo looking up social media profiles, others have not relented from this practice yet. The last thing you need is to lose a job opportunity because that spring break picture from your senior year in high school. Cover the details and make sure your social media footprint is clean by following the steps below:

1. Use Google Alerts.

The Google alerts feature does an automatic search of the web for you on the content you specify and on the time intervals you choose. For instance, I would have weekly Google alerts set up on ‘Kathryn Walker Purdue’, ‘Kate Walker’, ‘Kate Walker Purdue’, etc. If you use different versions of your name on social media sites, be sure to cover those bases. I am then sent a weekly report displaying how my name is popping up – usually it’s other Kate Walker’s content, however I never want to be caught off guard.

Pro Tip: Set up an alert for companies/industries you’re interested in to stay up-to-date with the latest news, which is bound to impress recruiters during that interview.

2. Limit your profile searchability.

Too many people overlook this minor change that can save you a mountain of problems. On Facebook in your settings, there is a feature that allows you to block your profile from being searched on the web. This means that no matter how many times your name is googled; your Facebook will not pop up. You can also limit the ability for people to find you via mutual friends. Choose whichever preferences you’re most comfortable with, but we recommend locking it down.

3. Be aware of the image your profile pictures send.

Often people change their profile picture to the newest party pic displaying how good they looked in their mini skirt or bartending at the party. This gives the impression of carelessness and irresponsibility. Choose a picture that displays you in a light your grandma would be proud of. It doesn’t have to be boring! Post your new skydiving picture! All we’re saying is avoid alcohol, questionable clothing, and overt amounts of PDA. Also, be aware that Facebook automatically sets your profile picture to ‘Public’. Don’t forget Twitter, where your AVI is public no matter the settings.

4. Protect your tweets.

As much of a bummer it is to not have people retweet your witty tweets, it’s even worse when you find a recruiter in awe at your inappropriate candor. Consider having a completely appropriate, public Twitter account where you contribute with influencers and the industry you’re interested in or keeping it completely private and among your friends. Choose one or the other.

5. Review all pictures/posts you’re tagged in or have posted in the past.

Be vigilant toward what others are posting about you. Untag pictures that are inappropriate and hide them from your profile. You can even report the picture to Facebook if you want it removed all together.

6. Be smart and THINK before you post.

The Internet will likely outlive us all, which means anything you post won’t disappear soon. If you are underage, please think twice before posting content that shows you engaging in behaviors that you legally shouldn’t be. Needless to say, it’s also a good idea to keep racial, derogatory, sexist, etc. comments to yourself as well.

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