The good old background check has been employer’s go to for a number of years now. Before a reputable company makes their pick of anew employee, they submit for the trusty background check. By the looks of it the background check will be the go to for many years to come; however, these days companies can do a little extra research with a click of a button.
What Information is Out there about You?
Google, Yahoo, and Bing, just to name a few, have become a huge information source for companies looking to hire. Typing an individual’s name into the search bar brings up information you won’t see on a background check. Depending on the person being searched, this can be a good thing, or a not so good thing; chances are, some of the information found will not be hire worthy.
These days our entire lives are shared online; everything from engagement announcements to the inevitable, “Good morning!” We share status updates, tweets, images and videos without a second thought. We chat with friends, comment on their walls, retweet what catches our attention, and hash tag what we want to reiterate. While we’re having fun connecting with the world we are leaving behind a timeline and trail of information.
We are free to express ourselves, free to have opinions, and free to speak them, so what could be better than posting our thoughts to the whole world? Right? Well, it may feel right, in the moment anyways; but, when you’re looking to further your career you may want to rethink posting some things that could hurt your reputation later.
A background check says a lot about a person; however, in these modern times, some social media profiles say even more. We’ve grown accustomed to telling people about our day, and some of us even elaborating on the woes of the day. We hit the “post” button without even giving our words a second thought.
So what should you do before you walk into that big interview? How can you keep a squeaky clean image for your potential new boss? A few steps can help you keep your personal life within your friend group and out of the workplace. Cleaning up your online presence might take a little bit of time, but can we well worth it in the end.
Starting with your Facebook profile, help keep your personal life private by changing your profile settings. Make sure your settings let only your friends and followers see your posts. Let’s face it, sometimes we want to voice our opinions, but those opinions might not be intended for someone in our professional world to see, such as a potential boss. They don’t necessarily need to know how you feel about certain things. This separation helps you keep a good relationship with the people you work with.
Twitter has the same settings available. By adjusting your Twitter settings you can keep your posts between you and your friends. People trying to view your account will have little to no access to the information you choose to post. This allows you to have fun on your Twitter page and not have to worry about people you don’t know seeing what you’re up to.
Instagram is another popular social media outlet. It lets you post both, images and videos of the activities you have going on, pictures of yourself, family members, or friends. Just like its fellow social media sites, it too has privacy settings. These settings let you share your images and videos with friends and followers, yet keep them out of the world’s view. At any rate, you should be using discretion when posting any type of picture or video.
The same goes for your other social media profiles, such as Google+ and Pheed. The best way to clean up your online presence is to update your settings. In good measure, you should Google your name on occasion to see what information and pictures show up; you might be surprised at what is out there. Keep your personal information and sharing between you, your friends, and family. With security settings in place, you will have the freedom to enjoy using your profiles and share your life with your friends without compromising a new job opportunity.