5 Ways to Curate Your Online Presence During Your Post-Grad Job Hunt

It's incredibly important to monitor your social media use both personally and professionally when searching for a job. Employers are now, more than ever, consulting candidates' social media profiles to get to know them. In fact, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and one of three employers have rejected candidates because of their inappropriate online presence. 

Though times are currently trying in terms of job hunting, you can still take certain steps to ensure you are in the best place for your job search, and spiff up your digital presence by taking a closer look at your social media. With these five tips, you can easily determine whether your social media is a proper reflection of the professional persona you desire.

  1. 1. Polish your online presence

    woman on laptop

    Start with a quick Google search for yourself and see what comes up. If it's a photo from 2010 of you partying during prom weekend, or your old One Direction fan YouTube account, it might time to take it down and focus on creating a more professional presence. Make sure that whatever is visible on your accounts is appropriate, positive and true to you.

  2. 2. Be mindful of your late-night happy hour posts

    woman drinking wine

    When you're mid-job hunt, stay conscious of your usual posting habits and keep it as clean as you can. 48% of hiring managers attributed posts about drinking to why they did not select a candidate. Usually, happy hour is something to celebrate, but limit these kinds of posts while job hunting. 

    Social media analytics professor and editor at The Balance Hilarey Wojtowicz recommends switching your personal socials to private if they aren't already. "If your social media is private, a hiring manager might understand that you're conscious of what you post on social media and how much personal information you put out there to the world," she says. "So while you should, of course, be able to bring your whole self to work every day, it's important to also know how to present yourself in a professional way that reflects the potential employer in a positive way."

    So go out for happy hour! Just don't blast all of the shots you're taking all over the internet. 

  3. 3. Consider creating professional socials, and make your personal private

    social media on phone

    If there are certain things on your social you absolutely want a potential employer to see, a smart move is to keep your personal socials personal and create professional socials that highlight your career interests. Professional social media pages are a great way to network with people in your industry, share content and news, and establish yourself as a professional user of social media for business. 

    If you’re heading into the media or communications field, it is especially important to use social media to show your skills and create a page that you would want an employer to use for reference. 

  4. 4. Update your LinkedIn to ensure networking success

    pointing at laptop

    LinkedIn is a great professional networking site that's often underutilized. To make the most of your LinkedIn profile, take a professional headshot to use as your profile picture, create a snappy headline that utilizes keywords in your field of work, and bulk up your profile with previous works and links to your professional social media accounts. You should see an increase in profile views, and may even be contacted by hiring managers if your headline fits their search criteria.

    Wojtowicz stresses that hiring managers, more than ever, are consulting socials like LinkedIn to gauge if a candidate is the right fit for their company. "When I was on a hiring team, we would check out social media like LinkedIn or Twitter for potential hires, because we were looking to see who was a good culture fit—had the right experience, was a go-getter, and understood what was happening in the industry," she says. Hiring managers will use social media to search for candidates by searching for keywords, companies, colleges, skills and more. 

  5. 5. Consider creating a personal website or blog 

    woman outside with laptop

    Another great way to brand yourself is with a website. Domains like Wordpress or Wix offer free website builders that you can utilize as a portfolio, personal brand, or display of previous work relevant to your job search. A website or blog is an extension of your digital presence and could help you stand out among the competition.

Don't let your personal profile mar your chances for the job you want. A post that seems innocuous to you may not reflect your professional capabilities, and hiding it will ensure hiring managers see you as a fit for their company.