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Everyone makes mistakes, but if yours have been documented online, they’re probably hurting your chances of getting a job. In fact, a 2015 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 52% of employers use social media sites to screen job candidates and another 51% uses search engines. If your online reputation isn’t good, it’s time to focus on cleaning it up before applying to more jobs.

Enable Social Media Privacy Settings

Unless you’re using an account for professional reasons, put your social media profiles on lockdown. Even if you don’t tend to post anything too revealing or offensive, there’s no need to risk sharing something that could put your out of the running for a great job.

Request the Removal of Controversial Material

You’re in complete control of who has access to your social media content, but you don’t know who can see what your friends post. If they have any pictures or unbecoming mentions of you on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, ask them to take these down.

Of course, it’s also likely that your online presence isn’t limited to social media. For example, if your name and photo are posted on the website of a bar you visited on spring break in college or even something not embarrassing, but potentially controversial, such as listing you as a volunteer for a political campaign, this could be damaging. Contact the site owner and politely request the removal of the content. The person isn’t obligated to grant your wish, but it never hurts to ask.

Bury Unflattering Content

If you’re unable to have all questionable material about you removed, you’re not out of luck. Simply create new, positive content to bump the rest down in search results. Secure a website domain using your name and make an online portfolio, start a blog, create social media accounts on platforms you weren’t previously using, seek guest posting opportunities and more — the possibilities are endless.

Just be mindful of the type of subject matter you’re attaching your name to and the places the content will appear as you want these efforts to help your online reputation, not do additional damage.

Contact PrideStaff North Dallas to maximize your job search. Gain access to our valuable connections with some of the most well-respected companies and upcoming new businesses in the region by contacting us today.