If you’re a recent graduate or know someone who has just finished school, listen up! There are a few things you need to take care of before you begin that job search in earnest. As someone who has helped sort through job applicants on various occasions, there are some important steps that you need to take care of now. The good news is that most of it can be done right from your phone.
1. Get a plain, professional-sounding email address. I promise you that an email from stoner1996 is not going to be as well received as a resume submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org. The number of people who don’t get this is pretty surprising. The same is true of things like Twitter and Instagram handles. Anything that refers to sex, alcohol or drugs, politics, or even sports teams could give a potential employer a bad first impression.
2. Set those social media accounts to private. The first thing potential employers do these days is head to social media and look to see what candidates are posting. Anything off-color or controversial could end up costing you a chance at a job. You might say, “But what about free speech?” Free speech means the government can’t arrest you for that Tweet. It doesn’t mean that someone can’t say, “I’m not going to hire that guy. He seems like a jerk.”
3. Get ready to untag yourself. Just because you didn’t say it, doesn’t mean it won’t be associated with you. Check for any photos or statuses that friends may have tagged you in.
4. Think about cutting some ties. People judge you by your friends. And it’s possible you have a lot of connections on social media who really aren’t your pals in life in any way, shape, or form. It’s not a bad idea to whittle your friends list down to people you know something about. Employers to check your connections. And if someone is listed as your friend and it turns out he’s posting about what a jerk his parole officer is, it doesn’t matter that he’s just a friend of your cousin or someone you played a game with. It will reflect badly on you.
Even you aren’t job-hunting at the moment, this is still some good adivce for everyone.