Since you'll be starting your hunt for entry-level jobs in the latter years of post-secondary, the ultimate goal will be to grab the attention of employers. But, chances are, they probably already have their eyes set on you. I don't mean they're literally watching you'just the online version of you. And since you'll want to make it a lasting impression, consider cleaning up your social media accounts. That means no more pictures from Friday's pub night and the next morning's aftermath.
Here are five ways to help tidy up your presence online.
1. Delete old accounts
Remember those awkward years spent following boy bands on Myspace and posting close-ups of your new nose ring? If those accounts still exist today, you should probably track all of them down and delete them. An employer can find anything on Google that has your name attached to it. You can bet all your pennies that if they're interested in your work, they're checking you out on the internet. You've spent all your efforts polishing up your professional fa├ºade offline; you don't want your awkward social media accounts to give employers the wrong impression of the older, more mature you.
2. Get rid of old pages you've liked
After you've deleted your old, awkward social media accounts, review your current ones and delete any groups or listed interests that clash with your professional image. There are free internet apps available to help you filter through the history of things you've liked and followed. One app is Ajax Social Wipes, which allows you to see all your liked groups and pages on Facebook from a bird's-eye view so you can pick and choose which ones to delete.
3. Trim down your list of friends or followers
If you've got over 1,000 Facebook friends you don't presently associate yourself with, you've got some work to do. Unless the people you don't personally know on your list are those you're trying to network with, I recommend you get rid of them, but ultimately that's up to you. Employers might be interested in knowing the crowd you hang out with to get a better sense of who you are. You really don't want to be connected with someone you don't know online who could compromise your chances of wowing an employer.
4. Check your feed history for compromising posts
You have a history and so do your social media accounts. Some things have probably happened in your life that you aren't particularly fond of. You might have even written a post that indicates a point of personal weakness. Go through your feeds to find these posts and delete them. Employers are often interested in knowing how potential job candidates handle stressful situations. Keeping personal strife off your social media feeds demonstrates a control over your emotions and an ability to effectively deal with stressful situations.
5. Moving forward, watch what you post
After you've completed the previous steps to ensuring the online version of you is slim and trim, make sure what you post in the future best represents the educated, well presented, and mature you. Some useful tips: keep your posts simple and to the point, and depending on the subject matter of the post, use language you would use when talking to an employer. If you see something your don't like, don't be afraid to delete comments on your posts you wouldn't want employers to see, and ensure any humour you share is smart and universally understandable'don't post jokes only you and your closest buddies would understand (it may be funny to you but it'll be awkward to anyone else). Basically, use common sense when posting to your feeds.
Photos: Anatoliy Babiy, jurgenfr, thepotter_2006, stevanovicigor, anyaberkut/Thinkstock