Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody, Everywhere!
By Rachael Barthelmes, Intern
We often hear stories of a friend of a friend not being accepted into his or her college of choice or not getting the job he or she wanted because of inappropriate Facebook photos, but we think these things only happen to other people, not ourselves. Because of this mentality we can become careless about the photos we post, or the witty (yet occasionally offensive) thoughts we tweet. We often forget that what we post online can be viewed by millions of people around the world, including our professors, family, and employers.
As my mom always says, “don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to show your grandfather,” and she’s right! Yes, it’s fun to post pictures from your friend’s 21st birthday party to remember how much fun you had and show everyone how ridiculous she looked in her tiara and sash, but unfortunately employers and admissions departments are turning to Facebook to learn more about who you are. Do you really want their first impression of you to be from your friend’s 21st birthday? I didn’t think so…
So ladies and gentlemen it’s time to clean up your cyber-reputations! No need for mops and wipes, just follow these three simple steps and you’ll be on your path to a squeaky clean cyber-image!
- Search Yourself
As vain as this sounds, Google yourself! Do the results represent how you want to be perceived by the cyber community? If not, reach out to the person or company who posted the information and ask them to take it down.
- Adjust your Privacy Settings
If you have a personal Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media account that has your name on it, make it private! Yes, it’s tempting to keep your profile open for everyone to see how exciting your life is, but for your career’s sake lock down that profile. Perhaps even try using a different name, or a different spelling of your name to make it more difficult to find your account.
- Make a Separate Professional Profile
Consider making a separate professional profile to share with the public. While sites like Facebook and Twitter can be detrimental to your career, when harnessed correctly they can actually help employers realize why you’re the right fit for them. Create a page where you post industry related links, and share information about your hobbies that a potential employer could connect with.