A meme going around social media for years goes “if you have no internet presence, you don’t exist”. Never is this truer than when you are looking for a new job. In an age when having no online identity can be almost as bad as having negative one, it is especially important to use those security setting on all your accounts to control the image you present to the world.
While this should be true for everyone that cares about protecting their own privacy and that of there friends and family, it is so much more important for you to be careful about what you post and how you post it when it could mean the difference between getting a job you really want and remaining unemployed.
This is not to say you can’t post fun pictures on Facebook or Twitter to share with people you trust! Many people hesitate to post pictures of their children that are accessible to the public when they should be just as concerned with protecting their own online image. This is WHY these security settings exist.
By adjusting your privacy settings to keep your private life out of the public eye, you get to control what possible work contacts and prospective employers can learn about you. The past couple of years have shown a multitude of questionable behaviors can lead to repercussions when it comes to employment. People have been fired for expressing extreme political opinions, showing images that are at the very least immodest, or even just sharing too much or unsavory information about the employee. If you are looking for a job, you want to prevent anyone in your industry from seeing you as anything other than professional.
Many advise creating 2 separate accounts per social media platform-one that is set to be completely private that you only utilize with trusted friends and family and one that is visible to anyone who punches your name into a search engine. Most people have no idea what their privacy is set as, so it behooves EVERYONE with any social media accounts to carefully peruse security/privacy settings occasionally, because these things change occasionally, so what was legal 6 months ago, you may need to check a box for today.
Assuming that employers are checking multiple social media accounts beyond LinkedIn, and they are, it only makes sense to tailor all your “public” accounts to showcase the image you want employers to associate with you. Just as companies need to utilize social media to make their presence known online, so too do you need to be in control of the most important product you have to offer—your image.