Social Media Week Flashback: Cleaning up your online presence

In this age of the Internet, everything you do leaves a trace. Every photo you post, every status you like, and every comment you leave is searchable and findable. Sometimes, this is a good thing. It helps you stay in touch with old friends and relatives, and your day is brightened when a long lost friend contacts you.

However, it is important to consider the consequences of what you post. Like I said earlier, everything you post is searchable. Nowadays, anyone can Google you and see your most recent tweets or profile picture. That’s why it’s important to maintain your social networking presence. If your elementary school pals can find you, so can a potential employer. They too can easily find the pictures of you having a little too much fun last weekend, and that could come back to haunt you! In this blog, I’ll give you some tips for how to clean up your online presence so you always make a good impression.

  1. Check those privacy settings! On Facebook, you probably will want to increase your privacy levels. The default settings are actually quite public, so make sure you take the time to adjust them. Similarly, unless all of your tweets, instagrams, tumblr posts, etc., are safe for work and present a professional image of you…make sure they’re private.
  2. Delete, delete, delete. All of us have some regrettable posts from our pasts somewhere online. If you decide to keep things public, find the posts that may be embarrassing, and delete them. You’ll feel better, and deleting it means someone else won’t stumble upon it.
  3. Control what shows up. I’m sure you have that friend who posts everything that comes to mind and likes to tag you in it. On Facebook, you can ensure these potentially cringeworthy things don’t show up on your profile by changing your settings so you must approve posts before they show up on your timeline. Manage what content is associated with you online.
  4. Create a brand for yourself. Think of your online presence as your brand. You want to be a marketable candidate for any future jobs, so start selling yourself now! By having appropriate online content, you are ensuring that your future self doesn’t have anything working against them when they apply for jobs, internships, grants, and more! Make sure everything you post online that is associated with your name is truly representative of you, and in a positive way.
  5. Create a LinkedIn. This is a great way to build your brand. LinkedIn is almost like a professional Facebook. It gives you a way to virtually network with people you know, and it is often one of the top links returned when you Google yourself. Creating a LinkedIn account is a great way to make sure your online presence leaves a good first impression. Plus, it gives potential employers the best first impression.

And there you have it! Five quick tips to help you clean up your online presence. The main takeaways are that everything you post on the internet is searchable…so just be sure you monitor what you attach your name to, and create a positive brand for yourself.

For more advice, attend Social Media + Networking for your Job Search Seminar on March 12th at 3:30 PM. To RSVP, click here.

Jamiee Foster
New York University College of Arts and Science
Math, Sociology, Business Studies
Class of 2015 Activities Board Public Relations/Marketing Chair
Peer Educator at the Wasserman Center for Career Development

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