Keep or Delete? Cleaning Up Your Social Media Profiles for the Job Search

social media tipsWe hear more and more about how your social media profiles can impact your job search. This has encouraged many job seekers to rid themselves of ‘digital dirt.’ Take a look at some common social media posts and see if you can figure out what you should delete and what you can keep.

A passionate rant on a controversial issue

You have the right to free speech, and the hiring manager has the right to avoid someone who appears belligerent. Internet arguments often descend into name calling, excessive caps lock and comparisons to Hitler. This isn’t something that will endear you to a potential employer. Keep your online identity free from these altercations.

A photograph of you dressed inappropriately 

Ask yourself if you would be embarrassed for your grandmother to see the photo. That should indicate whether it’s appropriate for the World Wide Web.

Complaints about your previous boss

Save your venting for the comfort of your living room and the ears of trusted friends. Whining online will make you seem childish and unprofessional. A potential employer wants to know that you will uphold the reputation of her firm even when times are tough. Nobody trusts a complainer.

A photograph of you drinking

There’s a difference between chugging shots and sipping wine. If the picture doesn’t depict a particularly wild scene, and you aren’t visibly inebriated, it should be alright to keep the photo up. Of course, if too many of your photos show you drinking alcohol, it might lead the hiring manager to wonder if you can function without it. Remember, moderation is key!

Racist jokes

Don’t ever post them to begin with. Beyond the negative impact they could have on your job search, they just aren’t funny.

It’s okay to have fun on social media. Just remember not to let it interfere with your professional path. And if you’re unsure of whether to keep something up, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and delete.