Rochester NY Stake Employment Center

December 3, 2011

How to Scrub Your Facebook Profile for a Job Search

Filed under: Social Media — Larry @ 11:35 am

Before you embark on a job search, one of the first things you could do is check your social networking pages for any incriminating evidence of slacker-dom (or otherwise undesirable features). Facebook and MySpace, for starters, have been the source of many heartaches for young job seekers unaware that potential employers were using these sites to research candidates.

1. Remove any religious and/or political affiliations. As sad as it is, employers might subconsciously discriminate against you if they see something that doesn’t agree with them. Be sure to make sure you aren’t a member of any sketchy groups or a fan of any pages that you wouldn’t want a future boss to see.

2. Look through your photos to make sure there aren’t any crazy party pics or other images that could cast you in a negative light. If you’re over 21, it’s okay to have a drink in hand…but please, no photos of you doing a keg stand. Same goes for photos of a "sexually charged" nature-no photos of you making out with or getting freaky with members of the same or opposite sex. Keep it clean, y’all.

3. It’s a good idea to remove your birth year. Again, employers shouldn’t discriminate because of age, but they might.

4. Check your wall posts and make sure you aren’t having any questionable conversations with friends. And if you have friends who often post scandalous messages on your wall, you might want to turn this feature off until your job offer is in hand.

5. Nix the juvenile applications. It’s fine to participate in some, but make sure you aren’t passing beers around to all your friends and showing which style of underwear you are. Facebook users will know what I’m talking about.

6. Make sure your profile pic makes a good first impression. It doesn’t have to be a professionally done headshot, but keep it in good taste. You might also think about using one that shows a hobby or a bit of your personality. For example, if you’re a fisherman, you might show a photo of you with your latest catch. Oftentimes, this will make you stand out in employers’ minds.

Tips & Warnings
Some will argue that you should set your Facebook/MySpace profiles to private when searching for jobs…and this is definitely an option. However, these tools can work to your advantage and help you to create a "personal brand" if managed properly. They can also help you uncover job opportunities when local folks and friends of friends check out your page. Social networking sites are especially useful for those in more creative or web-oriented fields. In fact, I’ve even heard of some employers passing on candidates who don’t participate.

– MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin March 28, 2011


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