So you’ve found a few posts and a couple of photos that you’d rather a hiring manager didn’t see when considering you for their position.
There are two main ways to tackle this – edit your visible content or have your privacy settings protect it.
Editing Your Social Media Profiles
This is arguably the more extreme option. Because, unless your profiles happen to be full of genuinely offensive content, there’s not really a need to censor yourself in this way.
You are absolutely entitled to your personal life and your opinions.
If you do decide to take this route, take each of your social media accounts at a time and go back through your posting history. Delete anything that you think might harm your chances if seen by an employer.
A good test for this (although a little dated!) is, would you be embarrassed to see this photo or see yourself quoted as saying this on the front page of a national newspaper?
The time most people would choose this option is when having a publicly viewable profile could be of benefit to their job hunt.
LinkedIn is a good example of this – to have the greatest impact on your job hunt, people you don’t currently know have to be able to search for you and view your profile on this social network.
Changing Your Privacy Settings
The less drastic option, that still allows you to display all of your past social media content as well as to continue posting as you wish, is to adapt your security settings.
All main social media platforms have various levels of privacy. These will typically dictate what can be seen by someone who isn’t a direct connection with you on these sites.
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To do this, log out of all your social networks again and search each one for your name to see what is accessible. If you can see things at this point, so can everybody else.
A good example of this is that you might think your Facebook profile is private but non-friends may still be able to see all of your old profile photos. This is the sort of thing that a logged-out search will show you after you’ve made changes to your privacy settings.
Of course, this option only works if you are careful about who accept connection-requests from. As soon as someone is a direct connection, they can generally see everything.
If this is your chosen route, you might like to keep a close eye on who you connect with.