By: Caitlin Chismark, DePaul University PR and advertising major ’18 and Career Center networking events intern
We’ve all searched for ourselves online to see what links, photos and videos come up, but what if an employer searched your name?
Remember, first impressions matter. LinkedIn isn’t the only website where we need to maintain a professional presence. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest are all key channels where you need to keep your image healthy. By cleaning up your Google results, you will be ready for employers to see your online image.
Consider these suggestions for keeping your online presence protected and professional:
Twitter: Go into “Security and Privacy” in Settings, and check the “Protect my Tweets” box. This restricts users from viewing or retweeting what you post, and forces them to request to follow you before they can see future posts. Know this, though; tweets that you posted previously when your account was public will still be visible to some users and in some places.
Facebook: Dive into the privacy settings and protect your identity and posts. Make sure your profile is free from inappropriate content and photos; if a friend tags you in a post or photo that you wouldn’t want an employer to see, kindly ask them to untag you and/or delete the material. Keep in mind that although your profile is private, what you post on the Internet is out there, permanently. Be smart, and always ask yourself, “does this need to be on the Internet?”
Instagram: Make sure your account is private unless using it strictly professionally; i.e. you are a photographer or designer and want to show off your images or graphics. Much like Twitter, users will have to request to follow you with your privacy settings on. It seems simple, but don’t post anything on Instagram that you wouldn’t want an employer or family member to see. If you have to question it, it’s probably not worth it to post.
Pinterest: Keep your boards clean. Pinterest isn’t a website that you’d think can affect your online presence, but it is. It’s another platform out there with your name on it. When you do a Google search of your name, click on images. If you have Pinterest boards, you may notice that pins you have saved are included in the results of your search. This can be scary if you used Pinterest five years ago and only saved pins of your favorite “hot celebrities.” To fix this, you can remove pins and create private boards.
Keeping your online image fresh and clean is important because of the role social media and the Internet play in recruiting. It’s time to put on a new, professional face. If you want to learn more about how to safeguard your online presence and maintain professionalism on your social channels, meet with a career advisor; they have all kinds of tips and tricks up their sleeve.