Over 9 out 10 employers use social media as part of their recruiting process.
More than half of these employers will check your Facebook profile to get the info they need. So if your Facebook features things you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see, it might be time to do some cleaning up.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should deactivate or delete your Facebook account. Nearly three-fifths of employers admit that not having an online presence hurts your chances of getting an interview. Having the right content on your profile can actually help you land the job you’ve been eyeing.
Let’s look at what steps you can take to fix your profile before submitting your next job application!
Delete Unflattering Posts
Employers want to find out whether you’ll be a good fit for their company culture. Provocative posts are too risky to keep on your Facebook profile.
For starters, get rid of any posts about how you should be studying instead of doing something else. This gives a terrible first impression.
If you’ve ever badmouthed a former employer or boss, go ahead and remove those too. Keep in mind that any posts attacking anybody reflect poorly on you, even if they’re lighthearted.
Do Some Proofreading
One of the primary traits employers look for in a candidate is good communication skills. There’s only one way to gauge this from a Facebook profile: the writing.
Unfortunately, hiring managers aren’t very forgiving when it comes to writing mistakes. Over 3 out 5 employers look down on applicants with poor spelling and grammar.
To avoid any issues, proofread every post you write before submitting it. Delete or hide older posts that feature poor spelling and capitalization. Don’t forget to check the spelling and grammar on your about page too.
Use a Professional Profile Pic
The best way to make a good first impression is by having a high-quality profile pic. This doesn’t just apply to dating websites. A good Facebook profile photo improves your odds of getting a job interview by up to 40%.
You want to look confident and positive in your profile pic. To accomplish this, focus on giving and genuine smile, and avoid a gloomy background. Also, make sure the lighting is flattering.
In most cases, a selfie with a smartphone camera won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Consider hiring a professional photographer that specializes in taking profile photos.
Make sure to get rid of any cover photos that looks unprofessional as well. A poor cover photo can look completely out of place on your page after you update your profile pic.
Hide Your Friends
Your potential employers can tell a lot about you from the people you associate with. But you can’t control what your friends post on Facebook. As a result, you’re better off hiding them from the rest of the world.
Follow these steps to hide your friend list from the public:
- Click on the “Friends” option right under your cover photo.
- Click on the pencil icon and select “Edit Privacy.”
- Under “Friend List,” choose between the “Friends” and “Only Me” options.
Turn on Timeline Review and Tag Review
Even after you hide your friends, they can still hurt your chances of landing a job.
If your timeline review is set to off, sketchy photos and posts tagged with your name will show up on your wall. Also, if tag review is set to off, your friends can tag your pictures without your approval.
To turn on timeline review and tag review at the same time, follow these three simple steps:
- Click the downward facing blue arrow on the top right of your Facebook page.
- Select “Timeline and Tagging.”
- Click “Edit” and enable both options under the “Review” section.
Double Check Your Likes
Obviously, your potential employers want to get an idea of your likes and hobbies. But if you’re like many of us, there are probably a few you would rather not share with them.
You can remove specific likes one by one. But you can also hide your likes from hiring managers by doing the following:
- Click on “Timeline” on your Facebook profile.
- Hover over the “More” option.
- Click on “Likes.”
- Click on the pencil icon.
- Choose the “Edit the Privacy of Your Likes” option.
- Change the privacy options for your desired categories
Most likely, your favorite restaurants or clothing lines won’t work against you. But your political affiliations and taste in music, for example, certainly can.
Update Your Personal Information
In some cases, hiring managers may check to see if the qualifications listed on your profile match up with those on your resume. Therefore, it’s a good idea to update your education and work history on your profile. Make sure the skills you list are relevant to the job you’re applying for as well.
When it comes to your relationship status, avoid using “It’s Complicated,” even if it’s true. All it does is highlight the fact that you’re going through personal issues.
Find out How Others See Your Profile
When you’re signed into Facebook, you only see your page from your perspective. To find out what potential employers will see when they visit your Facebook profile, follow these two steps:
- Tap the ellipses on your profile page.
- Choose the “View As” option.
This will give you a glimpse what content is available to the public when they visit your page. It’s a great way to ensure you did all the previous steps correctly.
If everything looks good, you should be ready to proceed with your job hunt.
Final Thoughts on Cleaning up Your Facebook Profile
The main thing that employers want to find out from your Facebook profile is whether you present yourself professionally. Do your best to project a positive, truthful, creative, grounded, and intelligent image.
Don’t neglect your profile picture, as it’s the first thing your employer will notice. If you can’t get a high-quality photo on your own, hire a professional photographer.
Once your Facebook page is nice and tidy, do a quick Google search of yourself to see what else you can do to clean up your online image for employers.
Have you spruced up your LinkedIn yet? If not, check out our posts for improving your LinkedIn profile.