Need a new job? Make sure you clean up your social media profile.

Social-Media-RecruitingRecently Careerbuilder.com commissioned a study (conducted by research firm Harris Interactive) that discovered that 45% of potential employers search for candidates on social networks before hiring them. 11% more of the participants said they’d include social media research to their hiring process soon.

So what can you do?

1. Pass the social media recruitment test. As you go through the questions, be honest with your profile.

2. Make necessary changes. Lock down, delete and clean out the offending posts/photos/etc. Be aware that the new Facebook timeline makes it extremely easy for folks to go way back into your history on social networks.

3. Add in your bio/job history/key search terms. In the about section of your social media profiles make it clear what your career is and what you’re an expert in. If you want to have a more personal account, consider removing your name from your profile or creating a new one just for hobby/personal.

4. Google yourself. What comes up when you Google your name? My name is fairly generic (Tabitha Smith), but she is a member of the X-Men. I’ve made sure to cultivate my full name “Tabitha Grace Smith” so my website/Facebook/LinkedIn etc. come up first.

5. Get some professional looking photos taken. Even if you’re a well-known hiking blogger, it does you well to have some nice photos of you out hiking. Think of yourself as a brand (okay, not as bad as Coke or Pepsi), but know what you want your potential employer to see when they search – a confident, well taken photo will do a lot more for you then that selfie you took in your bathroom.

Got any more ideas for helping your online presence while job hunting? Leave me a comment!