Clean Up Your (Virtual) Act!

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

Clean Up Your (Virtual) Act!

This blog post is written by Melinda, our campus ambassador from Miami University of Ohio!

While it’s not spring, the beginning of the school year is the perfect time for a spring cleaning when it comes to your social media profile.

It’s important to keep your online presence clean and classy as a young professional. More often than not, future employers will try to find you online before offering you a job and they may not like what they see if you don’t keep watch. There could be some embarrassing stuff out there, especially since most of us have had an online presence since middle school when we may not have been thinking about the future impact. Here are quick and (relatively painless) tips for a social media clean-up.

Google your name. Since you know employers are Google-ing, it’s a good idea to see what they are going to find. Here’s a tip: use first name-last name and first name-middle name-last name combinations, and put your name in quotes to get the best hits. What comes up could be anything from past accomplishments, personal information, and your social media profiles. Anything that puts you in a good light or highlights your experience is awesome, but old inappropriate posts or blog entries are not and should be deleted or amended.

Make it private. Unless it’s something you want everyone (and I mean everyone) to see, it’s important to keep discretion over what parts of your profile are available. For example, your LinkedIn profile or a resume website should be public because you want employers to see it. Your Facebook profile or Twitter account on the other hand may not need the same amount of exposure.

Watch what you post. Keep in mind what you’re posting to your social media profiles. This includes your own writing, your friend’s posts to your profile, and photos. In the case of photos, keep inappropriate (or in some cases illegal) items out of any tagged or uploaded photos—it’s unnecessary to have them online and you don’t want others to form judgments. As for posts, just keep them classy and try to limit profanity. In the same vein, posting about an accomplishment or retweeting your published works are great uses of social media.