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Control-Delete: 5 Tips to Clean Up Your Online Presence

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5 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Online PresenceYou’re job hunting and you’ve got that job search checklist ready to go. Write company-specific cover letter, update your resume, get in touch with your references, practice interview responses. Check, check, check, and check. You are on top of it. Oh wait, there’s one more thing: check your online presence.

Your bleary-eyed public profile pics, Tweets bashing a client, or inappropriate comments on a friend’s shared article speak volumes to future employers. Even your political alliances can cost you a job. How you present yourself online is an important factor to employers searching for the best candidates and every digital move you make – every like, share, comment, selfie, and check in – can make it increasingly difficult to manage your online reputation.

Fear not – our friends at Barnes & Noble College’s blog, The College Juice, are here with five tips to help manage your online presence and take control of your digital reputation before you start applying for jobs.

1. Google yourself. 
Employers will do a Google search before bringing you in for an interview, so you want to make sure nothing pops up that will steer them away. Now, what do you if you come across something you feel sheds a negative light on you? You can actually work with Google and potentially have the search result removed. Find out more about their process here.

2. Manage your social media privacy settings.
You can be sure employers are scoping out your social media pages as well. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter are easy to make private, but Facebook has quite a few more privacy settings that you can customize to your comfort level. We recommend checking out this guide that goes in depth on all the different ways you can tweak your privacy on Facebook.

3. Control-Alt-Delete your photos and posts. 
Even if you choose to make your social media pages completely private, there are still ways that the content you post can circulate. You might be keeping it clean now, but what about years back when you may not have always made the best decisions? New or old, those negative posts are still tied to your name. Take some time and go through your old Tweets, Insta pics, and Facebook posts and view them through the lens of a future employer. Hit the delete button on anything remotely questionable.

4. Create appealing content. 
Cleaning up your online presence isn’t just about the negative things. Being active online can work in your favor. Sprucing up your LinkedIn profile, sharing engaging content on your blog, and creating a personal website, or online portfolio can leave a fantastic impression on employers.

5. Enlist professional help.
Sometimes there’s more digital damage than you can tackle by yourself. If this is the case, services like BrandYourself and NetReputation.com can help manage your online presence. They’ll do the nitty-gritty work to make sure your online presence stands out and while they charge a fee, your reputation – and that killer job you want – are worth it.

For more job search and college tips, check out Barnes & Noble College’s blog, TheCollegeJuice.com.