Social Media Spring CleanThe “cleaning-up” of one’s Facebook profile is easily becoming one of the most important and essential words of advice given to candidates in the day and age of social media addiction.

I agree, pictures of you winning the Saturday Dart’s competition are surely an indicator of your social strength, your homemade “onesie” pictures demonstrate your creativity, your photos dancing on the tables exhibit your interpersonal skills, your “I love Justin Bieber” status shows you are passionate and your hot and cold relationship status shows your versatility. Unfortunately, your future employers may not have the same interests or point of view.

It has been proven that 35% of prospective Employers screen their candidates and make an employment decision based what they see. I think as social media grows, so will the percentage of Employers that ‘Facebook Stalk’ potential candidates.

This is seen as a catch 22 – Yes it may seem unfair since it is your personal profile and you have the freedom to do as you wish, but in the same breath while you are in the job market you need to ensure all elements you portray must be favourable to employers. So you must consider how are you professionally representing their company while dancing like you’re Channing Tatum on the tables at the local bar singing the theme song to Magic Mike. Employers are seeking candidates they know will effectively represent their brand on a social level – they enjoy having that confidence in their employees. That is not saying you can’t have fun and let your hair down – it is all about finding the balance and interpreting it commendably, and refraining from sharing inappropriate material on your facebook page.

“Your future employer will check your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles as well Google to see if anything comes up. Try to cleanse them of any questionable pictures and messages – photos of you at parties that got out of hand, dirty jokes, slanderous comments and so on,” said Karen Ekron, head of the recruitment department at Sage VIP Payroll & HR. Employers are put off and their decision is easily influenced by provocative / inappropriate photos or information (53%), bad-mouthing previous employees, colleagues or clients (35%) and poor communication skills (29%).

While many people are active on social media sites, a reckless regard for personal settings on your postings could result in you not being considered for a job, despite relevant qualifications. Be sure to set your profile privacy settings effectively. Just as one spring cleans your cupboard, the same should be done with your Facebook account, out with the old and in with the new. Things change as you mature, what you may have found to be a witticism years back, now comes across insensitive, obnoxious and or reflect negatively on your personality.

When you are invited for an interview you will always put your best foot forward, ensure you do the same on your internet presence!