How to clean up your social media accounts before a job search

Now more than ever, employers have the means to do deeper background checks during the hiring process. Before welcoming you to the team, they will undoubtedly search through your social media accounts. 

Remember, your outward digital presence is an employer’s first impression of you. Perception is reality, so it is important to put your best foot forward. How do you clean your accounts up? 

Following is a step-by-step guide to help you do it.

Google yourself

One of the best ways to clean up your online presence is to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. That means searching for information about yourself as if you were the hiring manager. 

Most hiring managers will start by simply Googling your name. Are the results ones that you’d like on the internet? Maybe you have photos on social media that you’d rather not show off. Searching your name gives you a chance to clear out what you don’t want an employer to see. 

Google is a great first start to getting your online presence in order.

Make your social accounts more professional

Your Google search has probably highlighted a few of your social media platforms that need improvements. 

Work your way through each platform and identify the content that should and shouldn’t be shared. There should be a clear difference between your personal and professional presence. 

Some people create separate accounts for their professional and personal lives. Along with this tactic, you can also use permissions on the social platforms to separate friends and the general public into different groups, and therefore manage their accessibility differently. These permissions allow you to control what certain groups see.

Posts that ARE appropriate for social media:

  • Sharing articles or information about the industry you would like to work in
  • Sharing photos from a trip you took, or interesting things in your city
  • Information that could help other people in your industry
  • Simple posts that showcase your personality

Posts that are not appropriate for social media:

  • Photos of you partying or consuming drugs and/or alcohol
  • Overly political or religious content
  • Usage of vulgar language
  • Sharing too much about your personal life or relationships

A hiring manager doesn’t have the context of what your post means or represents. So, that single photo/post is the one look they have into your life. You want to make their first impression a positive one.

Adjust permissions to lock your social accounts down

All the social media platforms offer privacy settings to adjust who sees what information on your accounts.

Privacy Resources by Social Platform:






Your social media profiles, across every platform, should mirror who you are as a person. Looking through them helps employers decide whether or not they’re interested in meeting you in person, so the best thing you can do is find a happy medium between your professional and personal personalities. Make your social media channels authentic while keeping them professional. Once you find a way to toe that line, the stress of social media interfering with your job search will fade away.

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