Employers use to only have resumes, cover letters, and interviews to weigh when making hiring decisions. Now, due to the Internet and use of social media, that is no longer the case. Many employers check online profiles prior to interviewing and definitely before making hiring decisions. Some posted material leave employers unsure of what type of employee you would be. This includes inappropriate photos, inappropriate comments by you or your friends (you can delete comments under your photos), discussions about alcohol or drug use, talking poorly about previous employers, lying about qualifications, or sharing confidential information about past, current, or prospective employers. Be sure to remember:
Your online identity can help or hurt you. Do an online search of your name. You will be able to see what information and/or images come up. This will help you see potential red flags.
Manage your online identity. Treat everything you post online as public information. Remove anything you wouldn’t want an employer to read.
Establish a professional identity online. Join LinkedIn. Create an portfolio, using work samples, to market yourself and post it online.
Be careful about who you “friend”. Don’t suffer from guilt by association.
Check your grammar, spelling, and writing. Consider your online presence as part of your portfolio and as an example of your communication skills. Proof read your postings to correct errors.