In today’s job market, your online presence can be as important as your resume when it comes to job hunting. Employers often turn to the internet to get a sense of who you are beyond your application and CV. This is why it’s crucial to maintain a clean(ish) digital footprint before embarking on your job search. Here are five strategies to help you do just that.

Firstly, try Googling yourself. This is a thing potential employers will do, so it’s important to know what they might find. Type your name into the search bar and see what comes up. If there are any unflattering photos, controversial posts, or anything else that might raise eyebrows, make a note of it. Remember, the goal is to present yourself as a professional, so anything that contradicts this image should be addressed.

Next, start auditing your social media accounts. This is where most potentially damaging content will be found. Go through your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other platforms you use, and make sure there aren’t any posts or photos that could be seen as unprofessional. This includes anything with inappropriate language, controversial opinions, or excessive partying. Also, be sure to untag yourself from any photos that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. Of course, it’s completely up to you to decide what you’re happy sharing, we’re just trying to provide some helpful guidance.

Thirdly, consider making your social media accounts private. This is a simple way to control who sees your content. However, keep in mind that this isn’t a foolproof solution. Some employers might see this as a red flag, and it won’t hide anything that others have posted about you. So, while it’s a good step to take, it shouldn’t be your only one.

Fourthly, create positive content. Once you’ve addressed any negatives, it’s time to highlight the positives. Consider starting a blog related to your field, post thoughtful comments on industry articles, or share relevant news on your social media accounts. This will help to create a positive digital footprint that showcases your knowledge and passion for your field.

Finally, monitor your digital footprint regularly. Cleaning up your online presence isn’t a one-time task. New content is constantly being added, and you never know when something might pop up that you’d rather keep private. Set up a Google alert for your name, regularly check your social media accounts, and always think twice before posting anything.

To summarise, cleaning up your digital footprint can be a really beneficial exercise when you’re job hunting. By following some of these tips, you can help ensure that your online presence is helping, not hindering, your job search. Remember, the internet is a powerful tool, and when used correctly, it can be a great asset in landing your dream job. So, take control of your digital footprint and make it work for you.

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