It can’t be denied that we are in a very social media-oriented world these days – indeed, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a whopping 91% of online adults aged 16-24 use social networks.

However, while social media undoubtedly brings you many opportunities to present yourself to great advantage when seeking science jobs, it also brings very real risks to your online reputation.

We’ve probably all heard stories about that relative, friend or friend of a friend who lost or struggled to get a job due to that controversial tweet or compromising Facebook photo. So, can you do to ‘clean up’ your social media presence for job seeking?

Take more control over profile privacy

The most popular social networks tend to offer all manner of settings for controlling the privacy of what we share. However, many of us simply leave the settings at their defaults, not realising how much we might be sharing with the whole world. 

Facebook makes it easy for you to check how public your profile content is – just head to your profile, click the ‘...’ at the top and then select ‘View As...’ to see what your profile looks like to a random viewer. You may find yourself shocked and hastily deleting cringeworthy past posts.

As for future content you post, it’s a good rule of thumb to presume everything you share will be public unless you have altered the settings – whether on an account or post-by-post basis – to restrict its audience.  

Pay particular attention to your photos

Research reported in the Daily Mail found that “unflattering photographs” topped the list of Britons’ common Internet regrets, followed by “raucous, drunken photos”.

The 2,000 social media users quizzed by Custard Online Marketing also admitted to thinking twice about “vain selfies”, “photos of me, doing things I shouldn’t have done” and “photos of me in skimpy clothing/underwear”.

If all of the above suggests anything, it’s that we certainly care about how the images we share online affect how others perceive us. If that’s the case, you can certainly expect science recruitment agencies and employers to care about how your own image would reflect on them, so you should take the time to monitor your photos.

While it is often now possible on social media to control other people’s ability to tag you in photos, that doesn’t mean the photos don’t exist. So if you see an image that you wish to have removed, ask the person who posted it or get in touch with that social network’s support team.

Regularly Google yourself

You can almost guarantee that someone – whether a potential employer, friend, family member or acquaintance – has Googled your name in the past. What will a science employer see if they Google your name right now? Is there anything – including in the video and images sections – that might deter them from giving you an offer?

This is why you should routinely Google yourself to ensure that your online presence remains squeaky clean, not least as there may be content posted about you on other social networks.

Again, if you see something that might not be acceptable, you may be able to have it removed simply by appealing to whoever first posted it. On other occasions, that may not be possible, but there’s no harm in trying.

With one People Management report suggesting that about a third of employers have rejected candidates on the basis of their social media profile, it’s clear that this isn’t an aspect of your online presence you can overlook.

While cleaning up your social media presence, it’s also vital to ensure you have the right science recruitment agency by your side to assist you with your job search. Contact Hyper Recruitment Solutions now about our Candidate Commitment that outlines what we can do to help you find your dream science role.  

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