So Winter Storm Juno may have been a bust for much of the East Coast this week, but hopefully everyone put that unnecessary snow day to good use by getting a jump on applying for few summer internships or after-graduation jobs.
Let’s be serious, most of us spent that glorious bit of a break how we spend nearly any other snowy free day – hanging out on the couch in our pjs watching Netflix. It’s ok! It’s not too late to get everything in order and get those applications submitted.
But first, clean up your online presence.
It’s been drilled into our heads that future employers will scour the dark corners of the internet to find all your deep hidden secrets. That’s a myth. They’re not going to have to look far if you leave it all out in the open. It’s easy to make sure your online presence is exactly what you want to present.
Step 1: Google yourself.
The first time I Googled myself, I was shocked by what came up. It may not help that I have a unique name, but still, the things that Google dredged up were items I had forgotten from years past: results from high school track meets, honor roll lists, an old MySpace page, incomplete profiles from a variety of sites that I, at one time or another, signed up on to get free things from, photos and stories from my hometown newspaper.
Now, when I Google my one-of-a-kind name, the results include my LinkedIn page, my About.me profile, my Google+ page, articles I’ve written for my college newspaper, Thought Catalog & blogs for classes, stories I’ve been quoted in, photos of me from events I’ve attended – all professional things.
Step 2: Update your Facebook privacy settings.
If you don’t want to take the time to clean up your Facebook page, or want it to remain more personal than professional, go update your privacy settings. Make them as restrictive or not as you’d like, from preventing search engines from showing your page as a result when people look for you to just blocking the photos you’re tagged in. Whatever settings you choose, make sure anything made public isn’t something you’d be embarrassed by or would prevent an employer from hiring you.
Step 3: Clean up your Twitter.
Cleaning up your Twitter is just as important as crafting a Twitter identity for yourself (I’ll touch on that in another post very soon!). If your account is public, which a PR girl’s should be, make sure your tweets are clean and appropriate. Nix any offensive language, whining about work or school or anything really. Make sure the image your presenting is the one you want!
Step 4: Create and polish your LinkedIn.
If you’re looking for a position & don’t have a LinkedIn, hop on it! Once you get the basics done – like listing your experience, adding some skills & selecting a profile photo – polish it up by writing a fantastic summary, adding connections, outlining the details of your experience, reaching out to your connections for recommendations & adding samples of your work. For more tips on using LinkedIn, check back next week for a new post.
Step 5: Create a Google+ profile.
I know, I know – no one really likes Google+. It doesn’t have the cool features other social networks have and no one really uses it. Google+ does have one thing over the other networks: Google’s search engine will rank items from its own network above any others. Even if you don’t do much with it, Google+ is a place to showcase your work & make sure it gets seen.
Step 6: Delete any unused social media profiles.
Rather than try to keep up with every social network & website, new & old, go through and delete the old ones you no longer use. Who knows what you might have left on each and every site & the best bet is to go in one last time & get anything you might want before deleting the account for good.
Job searching & professional development are difficult, PR girls. What questions do you have? Which aspects are you struggling with or unsure of?