With social media so readily available to everyone in the world today, our power to instantly share is stronger than ever. However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. With more than 244 million people using social media in the United States, according to Statista, it’s important that we learn how to use this tool wisely.

Are you starting your job search or expect to change careers in the near future? Then it’s even more important that you’re monitoring your social media presence, as it was recently reported by The Muse that 92 percent of employers are using social media for hiring – and not just LinkedIn! Instagram, Twitter and Facebook platforms allow employers to get a glimpse into your hobbies, interests and activities to see if you’d be a good fit within their company.

According to a 2018 survey by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social networking sites to research candidates during the hiring process. The same survey says employers that found negative content on an applicant’s social media – such as provocative or inappropriate photographs, discriminatory comments and even evidence of poor communication skills – were less likely to hire him or her.

What can you do to make sure you’re keeping your social media clean and professional? Check out these three tips:


Avoid Oversharing

Social networking can be a driving force in our lives. It shows the world who we are, what we like and what we do. It’s a place to engage with each other, share memories, experiences, news and much more, but not to share every detail of our daily lives. In the same CareerBuilder survey, 12 percent of employers said they did not hire a candidate because that person posted too frequently. So, instead of flooding your news feed with mindless updates, be intentional about sharing major events and milestones in your life or simply something that made you smile.

At the same time, you should avoid sharing overly personal information. Thirty-six percent of employers said content related to alcohol prevented them from hiring a candidate. If you want to go out and have fun with friends, great! That’s your business. Just keep it tasteful when letting pictures and videos permeate your feed. Also, just because you didn’t post it, doesn’t mean you weren’t tagged in it. Be mindful of this and check your page often – filtering any negative or inappropriate content.


Engage in Meaningful Content

There’s so much out there to share, and what you engage in can say a lot about who you are. Whether it’s news, sports, music or simply funny videos, make sure you associate yourself with purposeful content that is relevant to you. Besides making sure your social media is free of inappropriate posts, employers also check your accounts to get to know you before they meet you. Have you ever had a co-worker who was full of funny stories, facts or even just good conversation? Everyone wants that person around the office, and 31 percent of employers say they are more inclined to hire a candidate who showed a wide range of interests based on his or her social media feed. So, whatever it is you’re posting (or sharing), keep it in line with your interests and your profession.


Market Yourself

In today’s world, building a personal brand is important. And with numerous social media platforms at our fingertips, it’s a great time to start thinking about using social media to market yourself. Think of it as a secondary, digital resume. Make sure you keep your profile updated (just like a resume), provide relevant personal and professional experiences and keep good company. Joining social media groups pertaining to your area of expertise is a great way to market yourself. Through these groups, you can share insights and build authority around your personal brand.

With these tips, you can give your social media the power it needs to take you further in the professional world and gain positive attention from friends and family along the way.