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In a competitive job market, hiring managers are looking for any reason to weed through all the applications and toss out the less appealing ones. They’re looking for typos, grammar mistakes, resume inaccuracies, and more than ever, they’re checking social media. All it takes is a quick search on social media and even with the most private of settings, they can find out a lot about you. Here are five social media rules to follow when you’re searching for a new job.

Stay professional

Be careful about what you post. Keep your language clean and inoffensive. If you share pictures, make sure they’ll hold up to scrutiny. Think pictures of the mountain you hiked, pictures of your cute nieces and nephews, or pictures of the food pantry where you volunteer. Share some professional articles to show that you enjoy reading up on your industry. Meanwhile, your personal posts should show off your hobbies and interests without offending anyone. If a friend posts something on your page with a four-letter word in it or tags you in an inappropriate photo, remove it as soon as possible.

Be selective about your posts

It’s easy to get carried away sharing silly videos and pictures and provocative articles, but be careful. If you post anything even the slightest bit politically polarizing, you risk offending someone. No matter how passionately you feel about an issue, remember that you could alienate half of your followers, which could include half of the recruiters and hiring managers looking you up. Instead, post things about your industry to show you’re fired up about your career.

Limit your time on it

There are two parts to this. First, the more time you spend on social media, the less time you can commit to your job search. You should be researching companies, polishing your resume, and preparing for interviews instead of scrolling through Instagram and Snapchat stories. Second, don’t overshare or over post. If it looks like you do nothing but share videos and pictures and comment on other people’s posts all day long, a potential employer will assume that you do. They don’t want to hire someone who’s more committed to social media than their career.

Delete inappropriate posts

This one seems obvious, but a lot of people get careless about it. Go through and delete those pictures from your frat party days—anything that depicts you as immature, wild, irresponsible or too big of a partyer should be removed. If it’s not something that would make your mom proud, delete it. Including swear words.

Check your privacy settings

No matter how much you clean up your social media presence, you should probably go back and adjust your privacy settings so that your accounts are as private as possible. But don’t delete your accounts altogether. A job candidate with no social media presence looks suspicious, almost as though they have something to hide.

For more tips on using social media to advance your career, contact Pridestaff Thousand Oaks today.

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