How To Make Your Social Media Employer-Friendly

Millennial college graduates are facing a kind of weird job search conundrum: how to deal with our social media profiles to make them employer-friendly. Because let’s be real, potential employers are definitely Googling you, and there’s definitely some stuff you don’t want them to find. Before you put your Insta on super-secret-private mode, take a chill pill. We’ve got some tips and tricks to making your social media presence totally employer-friendly.

Remember that hiring managers aren’t dumb.

As much as we like to think we’re being totally sly in putting all of our social media accounts on super private mode, remember that hiring managers and employers aren’t stupid. They know what you’re up to, and are probably wondering about what you’re trying to hide. Do them and yourself a favor by maybe opting not to go super private, and instead just make sure everything is appropriate.

We know that’s kind of a tall order, especially because social media is a place to connect with friends (who you may be a little more casual with) and because we don’t always know exactly what’s appropriate. We’re here to help you with that.

Consider the field you’re planning on entering.

This is actually super huge! While some fields (think STEM) are mostly looking for you to not be super bigoted or do illegal things online, others are going to ask more out of you and your social media presence.

Take teachers, for instance. A lot of teachers nowadays are using Twitter to connect with students on a different level. It might be best to start from scratch and build a new Teacher You on all social platforms.

Ditto goes for journalists and folks going into the public sector. In the digital age, your social media presence is kind of your lifeline, right? Make sure everything you post is representative of the best you possible (so probably avoid super obviously drunk Tweets, or pictures that show irresponsibility), and really enhances that personal brand thing you’re working on.

And journalists – make sure you re-read what the Associated Press has to say about social media journalism to make sure you’re up to industry standard.

Keep in mind the little things.

While it’s obvious that you shouldn’t Tweet a picture of you doing a kegstand or something crazy at a college party, remember that there are small, seemingly insignificant things you could Tweet that would still be a turn off for an employer.

Tweets where you’re complaining a lot, or talking about procrastinating or not trying hard on an assignment look super bad to someone who might want to hire you. You look difficult to work with and kind of lazy. If you absolutely, positively need to vent these feelings to someone, text them to your best friend or your mom.

Don’t forget about retweets.

Even though you’re not actually crafting the Tweet yourself, retweets are still a part of your profile and are going to represent you. Make sure the content is something you actually want to represent (and want representing you) before you click that mouse.

For journalists and public servants, this is where you add “Retweets ≠ Endorsements” to your profile to make sure you keep things neutral.

Reset some Facebook settings.

Facebook is a pretty different beast from Twitter. Most of us use the site to very personally connect with people we know (or once knew) in real life.

We suggest making any personal accounts (like the one you made in high school to be able to chat with Grandma) completely private. These aren’t really geared toward personal branding, so going the private route will be totally okay. While you’re making it private, also activate the setting that has the site ask for your approval before a photo you’ve been tagged in is added to your page.

If you’re really concerned with using Facebook for personal branding, feel free to make a public page that people can like. Chances are if you’re using this outlet as a huge part of your branding, you’ll be able to garner enough likes to make the creation of the page completely worth it.