Social media is personal, right? Not exactly.

Statistics show that 93 percent of recruiters use social media to support their recruiting efforts. A whopping 55 percent of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social media profile.

So how do you keep your image clean, and even impressive?

  1. Have a professional, or at least nice-looking, profile picture.
    For LinkedIn, this should be a headshot. These are often offered at job fairs, but you can also just wear a dress shirt and stand in front of a solid background and have someone take it for you with a flash camera or phone. For your other accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter, just make sure you are identifiable and dressed decently.
  2. Don’t post anything having to do with drinking or doing drugs.
    Regardless of if you are of legal age, recruiters are not impressed with two 40’s taped to your hands. Refrain from putting these pictures on any of your social media accounts.
  3. Keep your posts G-rated and monitor what your friends are saying on your wall— delete whatever might reflect poorly on you.
    You don’t have control over your friends, but you have complete control over your page. If someone posts something inappropriate on your wall, hide or delete it. If an unflattering photo is posted, untag yourself or gently ask your friend to take it down.
  4. Have updated, truthful information listed about yourself so the employer doesn’t get the wrong idea.
    Make sure your “About Me” section aligns with your resume. You don’t need to list where you live or your entire job history, but don’t try to embellish or exaggerate your education or past employment on any social media sites.
  5. Hiring managers also want to know that you have a positive attitude and will fit into their company culture.
    Company culture is an important aspect when searching for a job candidate, so you want to be yourself, but in the best light possible. Don’t complain about past jobs or bring others down.

Keep in mind that nearly all of these employers will check your LinkedIn, but more than half will check your Facebook, too. This is so they can get a real picture of you, and not just the professional face you put on. Clean social media pages ensure there is nothing to hide from an employer and can get you one step closer to that dream job.