As a follow-up to our popular post, Clean up Your Online Profile, we have created a blog series about cleaning up online profiles. Today’s topic:
Cleaning up Facebook
Facebook started as a site for college kids to socialize with their friends, but these days it is not uncommon for people to use the site to connect with family members, co-workers, and even complete strangers. Your personal life, professional career, and future relationships will suffer if you have not taken the time to clean up your Facebook profile and set your internet privacy settings. In this post, we will list a few ways you can start cleaning up your Facebook profile page.
According to a recent infographic released by Reppler, 76% of surveyed recruiters and hiring managers have checked an applicant’s Facebook profile, and 46% did so before even reaching out to the candidate. 69% of applicants have been rejected solely because of something on their profile. Here are a few problem areas to avoid:
Poor spelling and vulgar language: Both convey a lack of professionalism, which will keep you from landing an interview. Check that you have not used poor language in status updates, the quotes section of your profile, and even on fan pages.
Professional history that isn’t up to date: Recruiters often reject applicants if they believe that they have lied about their qualifications. Make sure that things like college degrees and previously held jobs/internships are listed as they are on your resume.
Inappropriate profile picture: Once again, recruiters do not want to see pictures that show the individual drinking, doing drugs or in a bathing suit. Pictures like this should be taken down or hidden from the public using Facebook’s privacy settings. A profile picture should show the applicant in nice clothing and a professional pose.
Unmonitored likes: Employers will be able to see organizations/people/companies and everything else that you “like.” Be sure that you have not liked anything like “4/20,” “slacking off,” or an adult website.
Facebook is also a great way to stay in touch with friends, and family, but they do not all need to see every aspect of your life. One should be mindful of posting things like:
Political & religious comments: Being too overt about your views on touchy subjects might offend current connections. Using Facebook’s Smart Lists (or Friend Lists) is a good way to keep track of who can see what.
Unprofessional pictures: Family members and co-workers do not need to see photos of you in social settings. You should reach out to friends and ask them to remove any particularly unprofessional photos that they have tagged you in.
As mentioned earlier, Facebook profiles are playing a big part in how you are perceived by recruiters who have not met you. They can also play a role in online dating. Last year, roughly 1 in 5 newlyweds met online. To avoid making a bad impression before meeting someone in person:
Remove complaints: Just as hiring managers do not like to see complaints about past bosses, potential dating partners will not want to see status updates full of complaints about prior relationships.
Make sure “likes” showcase your well-roundedness: If you volunteer for a local charity, or frequently visit local museums, do not forget to “like” their pages.
Unfortunately, once unprofessional photos are uploaded or inappropriate posts are made on fan pages, they will start showing up in Google search results and removing them from your Facebook profile will not always make them go away. For help removing these items from search engine results, or to learn more about how to clean up your Facebook profile you can look at our online privacy products or contact us for other online reputation management services directly at 1-866-MY-REP-911