Law Absolute - Recruitment specialists

Social network privacy and your reputation

12th September 2014

This guide help's you to ensure that your digital footprint remains intactPresenting yourself online has become increasingly important in recent years. As stated by staysafeonline.org, research found that 70% of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online, making your choice of social network and vigilance of online privacy worth careful consideration. Here are some top tips to bear in mind when managing your social media for success. 

Check your privacy settings regularly

Even if you have set your privacy settings previously on your online profiles, social networks such as Facebook often review and add features, which can mean that privacy settings are adjusted. A safe way to ensure that the majority of those you don’t wish to see your profile are unable to, set privacy settings to friends only for Facebook and make your Twitter private. There is also an option on LinkedIn to hide recently added connections from your profile page, and this can come in handy when searching for new job leads, as to not alert your current employer.

Think before you post

It’s important to be very careful about what you post online. Posts on the internet have the potential of going viral in a matter of minutes, so it’s very important to be careful what you share on social networks. It is advised not to post or share anything, which you would not want to be seen by a prospective employer, as it is possible to track social posts back to email addresses. The youth crime commissioner Paris Brown, is an example of where social posts have come back to haunt an individual, as she was encouraged to stand down from her position following a series of previous offensive tweets.

Also, make sure to pay attention to what your friends are saying online about you in case you may wish to ask them to remove anything you feel is unsuitable. Remember, once posted online, this is still likely to remain so even when hidden, deleted or removed.

Check your digital footprint

A good way to keep on top of your digital footprint is by using search engines to search your own name. Check both the web and image results, as a photo can be just as damning as a post or comment, if not more so. If you do find anything that you are unhappy with, best practice is to contact the person or web page in question and ask politely for it to be removed. Another suggested tip is to delete abandoned social media accounts as these can look unprofessional if outdated.

Promote yourself and your profession

Improve your online reputation by using a professional network such as LinkedIn, as this can work as an online CV, and will allow potential employers for lawyer jobs or in-house legal jobs to see your experience. Write about yourself as a person rather than a product and share your passions as well as your skills. Share information related to your profession and make sure to write your posts and tweets in a positive manner. Also, remember to be polite in all your interactions and enhance your online presence by being a good listener. Another top tip is to double check that you’re logged into the correct account you wish to post from, in order not to publish anything in an unsuitable place.

Present yourself well

It is advised that Facebook is used for private networking and sites such as LinkedIn for professional networking. In order to make a good impression with those you’re networking with and also potential employers, make sure that your LinkedIn profile image is one that you would be happy to share with a professional employer. Do not use social images of yourself in a nightclub for example, instead use an image of yourself dressed smartly with a plain background where possible. As Facebook and Twitter could still be checked out by a potential employer, it is wise to adopt a similar approach with your profile photos too.

Image Credit: Neeraj Kumar (Flickr)