10 Quick Ways to Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles Before Your Next Interview

Michael Klazema

Michael Klazema

Picture this scenario: after weeks of sending out applications and cover letters, you finally land a job interview with your dream employer. You are all ready to go – dressed up, resumes in hand, your winning smile and firm handshake in perfect form – when you realize that you forgot to go through your social media profile with a fine-toothed comb the way you had planned. 

This is a common situation among job hunters. You get so caught up in looking for employment opportunities and making contacts that it’s easy to overlook the things closest to yourself – ostensibly, your Facebook profile, your Twitter feed, your YouTube account, or your blog – that could posit you as a less-than desirable employee. With hiring managers in the modern age looking toward social media and the Internet to learn who their applicants are in real-life, it’s a commonly heard mantra that cleaning up your social media profiles is an important step before you start applying for jobs or going on interviews. 

Luckily, in case you’ve neglected your social media wipe down up to this point and don’t have time to whitewash the entire thing before your upcoming interview, there are quick fixes and momentary strategies you can take to turn your Facebook into a resume booster rather than a employment disqualifier. Once you get home from your interview, you can do a more thorough inspection of your social profiles to make sure that they aren’t damaging your job chances. Sometimes though, speed is the key, and these 10 quick social media steps could save your job chances if you remember to run through them in the minutes before you head out the door to your interview. 

1. Change your profile picture: Here’s the big one. If you are really cutting it close with your social media clean up, you may not have time to sort through the 1,000+ photos that you have been tagged in over the years to make sure none of them are offering an unflattering impression of you. However, if you make one change to your Facebook before heading to an interview, make it your profile picture. Your so-called “prof pic” is the first thing anyone will see when looking you up or interacting with you on Facebook. It’s the face of your profile, and by extension, the face of who you are online. The picture doesn’t have to be a formal headshot, but make sure it shows you off in a good light. 

2. Check your recent statuses and comments: Similarly to checking pictures, you may not have time to read back through months and years of statuses, so hedge your bets and do a quick run-through of your last month on Facebook. If any of your recent statuses have been offensive in any way – whether due to profane language or because they dissed your boss or place of work – delete them and make a note not to post content like that in the future. 

3. Speed read through your “Info” section: On Facebook, not many people pay much attention to the info section unless they are looking for contact information. However, if you’ve listed something in your interests or career information that may conflict with what you are hoping to say in a job interview, do some quick editing or deleting to make sure your profile represents who you are today. 

4. Trim your group list…: No employer wants to see an applicant who spends all of his or her time on Facebook. A person who is a member of a bunch of nonsensical groups automatically looks less professional in an employer’s mind, so trim the list. 

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