Posted September 19, 2013 by

How to clean up your online profile for your job search

Woman on sofa, checking her social media profile on laptop computer

Woman on sofa, checking her social media profile on laptop computer. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Starting a job search doesn’t start when you fill out an application. It doesn’t even start when you compose your resume. It starts when you get online.

What does that mean? Well, it’s safe to say that college seniors are all online – tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, joining LinkedIn – you name it. You’re online before you look for jobs, and coincidentally then use the Internet to find jobs in potential markets.

But your online profile is just as important as your resume.

When combing through job applications, a recruiter can also check out your online profile. What you post on Facebook, the pictures you upload – anything that’s published online.

That’s why everyone makes such a big deal out of online security.

How to keep your online profile clean

There are the obvious things to do to keep your online profile clean (don’t post incriminating pictures; watch the language you use, etc.). There are also measures you can take to make sure someone else doesn’t mess up the good reputation you’ve built.

Some internet providers offer computer security options so that you have an extra layer of online control.

Did you click an unsuspecting link that spams your Facebook page? A firewall can help combat that.

Did a virus unknowingly get downloaded to your laptop? Anti-spyware and anti-virus programs help take care of that.

Other ways to ensure your social presence doesn’t hinder you from landing your dream job?

  1. DeleteMe. This app comes from Abine, an online privacy startup company that erases your personal information from data broker sites.
  2. Google. It might sound like a simple idea, but just Google your name. See what pops up – if there is anything undesirable, you can find the source and take the next steps to get rid of it. Google already has measures in place for you to follow.
  3. Unlike the other solutions, this will cost you some money. This site protects your online reputation by monitoring what online information about you is out there. This is more of an extreme measure – maybe only something to consider if you’ve had an account hacked or have had previous issues with security.

Online security isn’t something that you want to spend your time worrying about. If you’re graduating college soon, you have enough on your mind, like which companies you should apply to, who you should live with after graduation and what to wear for your first interview. Getting a simple, inexpensive computer security suite is one of the easiest ways to make sure you have one less hurdle to jump when job hunting. Plus, it’s easy on your post-college budget.

Rose Haywood is an Internet tech blogger, business marketing student and advocate for equal access broadband initiatives. She proudly hails from Asheville, NC but resides for the time being right outside of Atlanta, GA.

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Posted in Advice for Candidates, Career Advice, Job Search, Social Media | Tagged Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,