Taking control of your online reputation is rarely easy. However, you can make this chore easier by breaking it up into the following smaller tasks:
Make your social media accounts private
Check each social media platform’s privacy instructions to learn how to restrict your posts’ visibility to “friends only.” This keeps strangers from seeing your posts, which prevents them from replying with negative comments or taking your words or photos out of context and sharing them on their own profiles. It’s also a good idea to only “friend” people you know and trust in real life because one of your friends could still forward your posts to individuals you aren’t connected to.
Delete negative posts
Go through your social media accounts and remove anything that doesn’t present you in the best light. This includes photos and posts that project a negative image or that someone might consider controversial.
The same goes for old social media accounts that portray a persona you don’t want potential employers to see. Go to the help page on each site to learn what steps you need to take to delete your account. If for some reason you can’t delete an account, then you should simply erase all of the posts in that account.
However, it’s important to avoid going overboard in editing your profiles and end up erasing any semblance of your real personality. Employers want to see your creativity and how you interact with others.
Think before you post
Make sure anything you post online is something you wouldn’t mind potential employer seeing. Once you share something on the Internet, the chances are good that it will stay there forever. Even if you decide to remove a post, it can always be reposted later if someone else was able to take a screenshot before you deleted it. Therefore, the best way to control your online reputation is to only post things that reflect well on you. You should avoid:
- Badmouthing people (especially former employers)