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Six Ways To Keep Social Media From Hurting Your Job Hunt

Social media presents both opportunities and hazards. It helps you talk about your day, vent a little and share images or ideas that you think others might enjoy. At the same time, you can easily overshare, or share pictures from parties or events that are funny to you and your friends, but a lot less amusing to prospective employers.

So how do you keep your personal life from potentially damaging your chances of landing a job offer? Members from Forbes Human Resources Council advise the following:

1. Look To The EU

I am an advocate of the upcoming changes to data privacy driven by the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. Users should be in control of their profile data, who can see it, or how to permanently delete it. Users should be in control, not have to live with "it's out there forever."

2. Keep Your Private Life Private

Social media is here to stay. The important thing for job seekers to remember is to keep your personal life separate on all social media platforms. There are several ways to ensure a future employer cannot locate your private accounts, including using a different name, marking the account as private and blocking your email from being searchable online. Remember, these days your brand goes beyond your resume.

3. Cultivate A Positive Digital Persona

Continuously understand your online presence. Search for yourself, ensure any posts linked to you are appropriate and utilize privacy settings to approve content before posting. That said, social media can enhance your resume, showcasing unique interests outside of work. Once hired, become a social media ambassador for your organization, giving others a first-hand sense of your company’s culture.

4. Don’t Post Anything You Wouldn’t Show Your Boss

Social media is ubiquitous, and job seekers need to expect that their every post will be scrutinized by potential employers. With a reported 70% of employers now using social media to research applicants, job seekers should be sure their privacy settings are secure, but more importantly, they’re not posting any content that may be controversial or may adversely affect their chances of employment.

5. Pay Attention To More Than Just Photos

Job seekers should be aware of not only their photos, but also the interactions within their social media. They should be mindful of any badgering or discriminatory comments they may have made, whether on their own posts or another individual's posts. Employers want to see how the candidate interacts with others by simply looking at their tone and conversations over social media.

6. Show You're A Whole Person

Employers know that they are hiring someone who exists outside of the workplace, someone who has opinions, emotions, baggage and fun. But it's not what employers compensate people for. So go ahead and show that you are a whole person. But don't go so far as to distract the employer from thinking about you an a potential employee. If whole people work there, whole people should interview there, too. - Catherine Decker, Outsell

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