4 Steps to Sprucing up Your Social Media Accounts
Don’t have your own Social Media Advisor? Here are a few simple steps to tidy up your online image.
Would you walk into a job interview holding a red Solo cup, smacking gum and cursing about last night’s game? Probably not! But if that’s how your Facebook page looks, you may as well.
More and more employers and college admissions officers are checking into your online reputation before you ever get the chance to meet in person, so a handful of careless posts, rude comments and irresponsible photos could jeopardize your chances. If you’re not careful, your online resume could cost you a dream job or acceptance to your first choice university. Fortunately, that’s preventable!
Check out these practical steps to get your social media world in order!
- Do an audit. Make a list of all your profiles – LinkedIn , Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – and take an honest look at your photos, posts and comments. Are there more pictures of you partying than not? Is the tone of your posts overtly negative? Are your comments riddled with misspellings? Are there more pictures of your cat than you? Consider what a prospective employer or admissions official might think upon viewing your profiles for the first time.
- Google yourself. Conduct a search of your name, once while logged in with your Gmail information (if you have it), and once logged out. (With Google’s complex algorithm, this makes a difference.) Include nicknames and any businesses you’ve been associated with in your search to find out what’s out there. This may turn up inappropriate posts on your own accounts or perhaps negative comments made by you or others about you. And don’t stop there – check Yahoo and Bing as well.
- Make a checklist. Once you’ve performed your audit & search, create a checklist of everything that needs to be tidied up and get to work. Delete old accounts you no longer use. (MySpace, anyone?) Delete, hide or untag photos depicting inappropriate behavior. If necessary, contact friends and ask them to remove photos that showcase your less-responsible side. Delete or hide posts or comments that demonstrate negative, irresponsible or undesirable characteristics. Try to view each past photo, post and comment through the lens of a discerning employer, recruiter or college admissions advisor.
- Strategize and rebuild. Your personal brand is in your hands, so it’s up to you to determine how others view you online. Learn about privacy settings on each network to ensure others see only what you want them to see in the future. Make a list of 3-5 qualities and characteristics you want to be known for – kindness, intelligence, perseverance, etc. – and think about those words every time you post a comment or photo. Fill your accounts with positive, smiling photos, informational, helpful posts that relate to your field of study or work, and well-thought out comments.
With a squeaky clean image online, you’re ready to take on the world! Good luck!
About the Author
Angie wears many hats; social media consultant, project-based publicist, travel blogger, freelance journalist, big sister and adventurer. A Gator grad born and raised in Jacksonville, Angie spent the past two years traveling the world alone and writing about it in magazines and on her blog. Prior to that, she worked in NYC at Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest PR agency, where she represented some of the biggest names in travel.