Most people are aware that setting up a social media profile isn’t a “fix it and forget it” endeavor. It’s important to be active and to participate in the conversation if you really want to reap the benefits – whether personal or professional.

iStock_000026935216XSmallHowever, it’s also important to do a quick review – at least once a year – to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

It’s a New Year which makes it the perfect opportunity to set aside time to do just that. This article from Social Media Examiner highlights a few specific steps you can take to clean up your digital footprint and online identity – social media or otherwise.

  1. Check your Facebook privacy settings. Your employer – or potential employer – doesn’t need access to your personal world. Even if your posts are always clean and appropriate, there’s just no reason for them to have that level of access to who you are and what you do outside the office. 
  2. Do a Google search for your own name. Be aware of what others will find when they search for you and take steps to eliminate anything negative. 
  3. Look back at your personal blog. When blogging first became popular many people setup personal blogs to share their adventures or their kids antics. It’s important to take a step back and make sure those old blogs are deleted or the content is adjusted to ensure it’s appropriate for the eyes of an employer. 
  4. Delete abandoned social media accounts. You don’t need to be on every social media site, but if you’ve ever setup a profile because you thought you had to or because you wanted to see what it was like, go back and remove it. 
  5. Think before you post. Before you post an emotional rant or share something personal online, stop and think. Is it worth it?

I also recommend setting some goals for your online brand in 2014. Think about what you are trying to portray online and set goals for how you will – and won’t – accomplish that this year. Then run every post through that filter. It may seem overboard, but more and more often employers are using social media profiles and basic Google name searches to better understand applicants. Getting hired is difficult enough, why make it worse by not taking a proactive, intentional approach to your online brand?

ABOUT MS. PEARCE:  Ms. Pearce is the Firm’s Social Media and Business Management Consultant responsible for project management, resource coordination as well as social media operations and management of the Firm’s website. Her background includes more than 12 years of experience in account management, marketing and business strategy, employee engagement, and corporate communications. In 2010 she launched Pearce Social and now works with individuals and small businesses to launch, build, and manage their online brand.  FULL BIO