Whether you agree with it or not, employers are looking at job applicants on Facebook. Not everyone does this, but you’ll want to be prepared either way. Anything from complaining about your former boss to inappropriate pictures to just being unprofessional can make a difference in your job search. The best thing you can do – make your profile as private as possible. Even if you don’t think you have anything to hide, it’s always a good idea to only have your friends and family view your page.
It seems like Facebook keeps changing their privacy settings. Below are four quick steps you can take to make sure the posts on your profile are pretty private and secure.
1) Click the lock on the top right of your Facebook page
You can use any of these shortcuts to make sure that your profile is private. Or, you can click “See More Settings” to view all of your privacy settings. I recommend clicking on that link so you can see everything in one place.
2) Check out where your settings currently stand
Next to the “Who can see my stuff” section, make sure the ‘Who can see your future posts?” setting is NOT set to public. You have the options of: Friends, Friends except Acquaintances, Only Me, Custom, or lists you have created within Facebook. If you are currently set on Public click the Edit button and change that ASAP.
Make sure the very last question “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?” is set to Off. You don’t want your Facebook profile showing up when someone searches for you online.
3) Limit who can see your old posts
This is important. While you’ve changed what people can see going forward, you need to make sure you update your settings to that your older posts are private as well. Click the “Limit Past Posts” link.
By limiting who can see your old posts, you will be making sure that future employers can’t go back into your Facebook history to take a look at your 21st birthday, trip to Vegas or the crazy rant you went on when you just needed to vent. Let’s be real, they don’t need to see that kind of stuff.
4) Test it out
Log out of your Facebook page (Gasp! It’s okay, you can log back in when we’re done) and do a quick internet search to see if you show up. Simply search your name + Facebook to see if you show up. If you do, check to see what your profile looks like. If it’s anything other than your profile and timeline photo, you need to go back to make sure all your settings are in place.
Remember, these steps tackle your posts only. We’ll go over making your photos private in another article. Keep in mind that your profile and timeline photos are important. Keep it professional and avoid anything where you look like you’re doing something illegal, inappropriate, or just gross.
It may not be fair, but how you project yourself on the internet can be seen by future employers and may come back to haunt you.
Want more detail? Check out Facebook’s help center for everything you need you know.
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