Social media is a great tool for keeping updated on the lives of your friends, family and colleagues and allows them to stay updated on your life too. Through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we are able to publish photos, videos and our life stories to whoever we choose around the world.
More and more of us are choosing to share our lives with others and while there are many benefits to this, we must also consider the impact this might have on our professional life. A recent study has shown that 70% of employers check social media profiles of potential candidates, as a way of screening them during the application process. This figure demonstrates how important it is to maintain a ‘healthy’ online profile. For this reason, we have created some tips for detoxing your profile and making it employer-friendly.
Familiarise yourself with your security and privacy settings – this is the first step to making sure your information is only reaching the people you want it to reach. Take some time to browse through your settings and consider making your posts visible to only select people or groups. Facebook gives you the choice to adjust settings for individual posts, so check these before you put up new pictures or update your status.
“Would you let your gran see that?” – Ask yourself this question before you post new content. If your answer is no then it may not be suitable for social media either. Maintaining a think-before-you-post attitude can help you to keep your profile healthy. Remember, if your settings allow it, friends of friends may be able to access your profile and see your status updates. These friends of friends could be old classmates, colleagues, your boss or complete strangers. If you wouldn’t be happy for them to see your information, consider making your profile visible only to the people on your contact list. On Instagram, you can choose to make your profile visible only to people you have given permission to.
Sort out your tags – While you can control what you post on social media, you cannot control what others post. If your friend has captured you from a less-than-flattering angle on a night out or a holiday, you may not want this photo to appear on your profile. You can always un-tag yourself from these photos or make the photos visible only to yourself or friends. However, this will not stop the photo appearing on your friend’s page. If there is a particular photo you are really unhappy about having online, let your friend know your concerns and politely ask them if they will remove it.
Portray your best qualities – Cleaning up your profile doesn’t mean you need to remove everything and stop posting. Be yourself and share the things you are proud of. These might be achievements or goals you have reached, causes you are supporting, or enjoyable moments with family and friends. Be positive and friendly towards others and try not to get caught up in the negativity that often circulates on social media.