5 Steps for Cleaning Up Your Social Media | Harris Casel Institute Melbourne FL
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5 Steps for Cleaning Up Your Social Media

clean up your social mediaDon’t let potential employers get turned away!

We have all heard stories about someone losing a job offer due to inappropriate social media content. What can you do to ensure this doesn’t happen to you? If you started social media accounts back when you were a teenager or a college student, you may regret some of the material that you posted way back then…especially if you are looking for a job now.

What can you do to clean up your social media now? Here are some tips to help make your online presence better when searching for a job.

1. Check your Facebook privacy settings and filters
Facebook is a popular place for employers to learn a little more about their prospective employees. You may think you have your profile set to be private, but it is always good to check. Use the Privacy Shortcuts tab to review your privacy settings.

Keep in mind that making your whole page private is not the only option. With Facebook’s filters, you can make some material public and keep other material private. This way you can allow employers and others to see some of the positive parts about you without having access to your entire profile.

2. When in doubt, delete it!
Even though Facebook allows you to make your page private, you should always assume that potential employers can see your page anyway. Through shared friends, screenshots, or other means, there may be ways to see your materials. Take the time to go through your Facebook history and delete objectionable material:

  • Remove inappropriate photos, including those that others posted of you.
  • Remove any posts that are inappropriate.
  • Look at your history of “likes” and delete any that may be controversial.
  • Avoid anything political, religious, insensitive, or vulgar. You don’t want a potential employer to judge you.
  • Limit your time playing the games on Facebook. You don’t want to look like someone who has nothing better to do than play Candy Crush or Subway Surfer.
  • Consider unfriending some people if you think they may post compromising photos or controversial material.

3. Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, Instagram, Foursquare, Snapchat
All of the big social media sites are places where you can be followed. What you tweet, retweet, like, and share can all contribute to the impression that you make on an employer. So it’s important to avoid posting material that you don’t want an employer to see. Take some time to go to your profile pages and remove unwanted material.

  • Delete inappropriate photos from Instagram and other sites—no party pics!
  • Delete any tweets that could reflect poorly on you
  • Even things you retweeted could reflect poorly on you. Delete them too.
  • Be careful with your user name—keep it clean and respectable
  • The rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, then delete it!

4. Bloggers and YouTubers
If you post content on YouTube or on a blog, make sure the material is appropriate for a potential employer to see. If not, it’s time to take it down.

5. LinkedIn
Unlike social media sites, which are designed to be fun and more personal, LinkedIn is specifically meant to be a career networking resource. You can use LinkedIn when you are looking for a job, and in fact throughout your whole career. Be sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. It should match the facts on your resume, and can also expand upon your career experiences more than a resume can. Try these tips for creating an all-star LinkedIn profile.

Social media, blogs, YouTube, and online career networks can be great tools for job seekers, if used properly. You can still have fun and enjoy the social aspects of these resources, but when it comes to searching for a job, it’s worth it to clean up your history. Remember, your electronic footprint tells a story about you, and you want to be proud of that story!


The Harris Casel Institute provides training for allied health and nursing careers at our campus in Melbourne, FL. Our weekly blog provides articles to promote health and career readiness for our student body. Our programs include Home Health Aide, Medical Billing and Coding, Practical Nursing, and more. Find out more.