How to clean up your social media for your job search
When you apply for a job at a law firm, it’s very likely they will look at your social media at some stage of the application process. Make sure your online presence doesn’t trip you up by following this handy guide.
A good rule of thumb to follow is if you wouldn’t want to see it on the evening news or the front page of a newspaper, don’t post it. That’s how public the internet is!
A prospective employer could check your online presence at any point during the application process, which could happen at the CV review stage, or during reference checks after an offer has been made. It could be devastating to your job search if red flags are being spotted at any stage of the progress, but having an offer withdrawn is everyone’s worst nightmare.
Consider scheduling a quarterly or annual social media clean up and set it to repeat in your diary to make sure you don’t forget. Go through everything you have posted throughout the year and check it still aligns with your values today.
Displaying integrity to potential employers is especially important in the risk and compliance world. Your job could involve tricky moral dilemmas, following rules and regulations, and assessing risk in complex situations. So, advertising a questionable moral compass on social media could speak to your suitability for the role, as well as your personality and values.
If you work in risk and compliance, you will have heard of an adverse media check, which involves a thorough search of a client’s press and media coverage via the internet. Think of your social media in this way and remove the risk of any red flags being identified by your future employers.
Here are some ideas to improve your social media presence for your job search.
Keep it positive
Fill your feed with positive content that truly reflects your values and how you’d like to be perceived. You could post about your volunteering, community, achievements, hobbies, or interests. It's great to give your audience an idea of who you are, and show off all the brilliant things about you that you could bring to the table.
Update your privacy settings
Spend some time checking the privacy setting of all the sites you use, and set them to the highest possible level of privacy. You could also consider trimming down your list of friends or followers to include only trusted friends and reputable accounts.
Get rid of old profiles
Social media platforms go in and out of fashion, and many of us have unused profiles hiding on the internet somewhere. Think Myspace, Bebo, Vine, and Flixster. Spend a few minutes googling yourself to find them and remove them completely. Given up on Snapchat? Take it down.
Keep your content appropriate
It’s best practice not to upload photographs of yourself drinking excessively, smoking, or taking drugs. Try to leave out profanity, innuendo, and explicit content as well. If it's not work appropriate, it's probably best not to share it online. When a firm is thinking about how your personality will fit into and influence the existing team, things like this could be a mark against your name.
Watch your moral compass
Racism, sexism, transphobia, ageism, ableism, or any form of discrimination are likely to raise a red flag. Take a moment to assess whether your content is discriminating against someone. Ask for advice from someone you trust or sleep on a post if you're unsure.
Be kind about your colleagues
It's not a good look to badmouth your past or present colleauges or boss and it could definitely put a future employer off. The best thing to do is not mention them at all. If you want to keep a really clean line between your private and professional lives, consider not adding your colleagues on social media at all. If you need to vent, write your feelings down in the notes on your (personal) phone and delete it later.
Be careful what you share
Just because it’s not your content, doesn’t mean you’re immune to criticism. By sharing something created or written by somebody else, you align yourself with that person and their message. Try to stick to reputable and official content creators and don’t share anything from a source you don’t know and trust.
Keep your comments clean
Your comments and likes are also visible to a future employer, as well as the list of pages you follow, and who follows you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking if something isn’t directly on your page it can’t be found. It can.
Tools to clean up your page
There are plently of tools available that can help speed up this process. Tweet Delete can remove tweets in bulk and Scrubber can flag any profanity, innuendo, mentions of drugs or alcohol, and even search for custom keywords like the name of an ex, boss, family member, or coworker.
You can’t be discriminated against for protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation), so if you think this has come into play speak to your recruiter.
For help preparing for your job search, give us a call on 0207 117 2542, email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org, or see our latest jobs here.
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