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Scrubbing for Success: Steps to Polish Your Social Media


In the not-so-distant past, job hunting was all about resumes, interviews, handshakes and well, you know the drill. Today, there's a new silent player in the game: your social media (or online) presence. Why? Your social media presence can double as an informal resume hiring managers use to screen their prospective candidates.

As young professionals gear up to step into the workforce, ensuring a pristine digital footprint is as crucial as acing that interview or perfecting that resume.

Beyond Resume, Your Online Presence Also Matters

Think of your social media profiles as your digital business card. Just like you'd want your real-world business card to reflect your professionalism, your online presence should do the same. Why? Because potential employers often peek at your social media profiles to get a sense of who you are beyond your resume. It's not about spying on you; it's about understanding your character, values, and how you represent yourself.

In fact, a 2020 survey by The Harris Poll found that a bulk of the employers surveyed believe that companies should screen their candidates’ social media profiles during the hiring process. Surprised? Well, your social media can speak volumes about you, and it's crucial to ensure it's saying the right things.

Not too late to scrub your social media

HR professionals and researchers recommend jobseekers to review their social media profiles. Here’s what you can do:

Delete or remove controversial posts, tweets, and tags

Remember that party photo from two years ago? Or that post with strong opinions about a controversial topic? Or even the snarky tweet from your teenage years? They might seem harmless among friends, but in the eyes of a potential employer, they could raise eyebrows.

Avoid sharing sensitive materials

It can be tempting to spill the tea, but discretion is often key. Playful banter or harmless gossip may be misconstrued, so do avoid sharing sensitive information or airing grievances on your social media. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if it is not something you would share at the workplace, don’t share it on social media. 

Mind the language

Be mindful of your language and tone in your posts and comments. Avoid offensive language or derogatory remarks. Remember every post, comment, or share reflects who you are — ensure they resonate with professionalism and respect.

Update your privacy settings

If you want to shield yourself from prying eyes, look to private your different social media accounts. However, remember that adjusting privacy settings doesn't guarantee complete seclusion. It's still plausible for employers to access your profile through shared connections or mutual friends' accounts.

Flaunt your skills

Beyond mere cleanup, use your social media platforms to showcase your skills, achievements, and passions relevant to your career. Share articles, projects, or volunteer experiences that align with your professional journey, when necessary.

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Finally, a well-curated online image isn't just about eliminating red flags—it's about establishing a positive digital footprint. Your future career endeavours hinge on this digital presence, so invest time cleaning up, polishing, and presenting your best self online.


Keen to know more? Check out Young NTUC’S LIT Career Prep Programmes where we connect youths with industry leaders to share industry insights, and learn the skills needed to ace that interview or job search.

 

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