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JOB SHOP: How to clean up social media

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WJBK - Its becoming more of a standard for most hiring managers to search for you online to see what they will find. Sometimes they find things you wish they didn't, like that picture from the college party. So how do you handle that? Robin Ankton from Robert Half International is here in today's Job Shop to assist.

BE PREPARED: The most important thing is to be prepared for these discussions by knowing what is out there. If you know of an inappropriate photo taken of you, and are unable to remove it, be ready to explain the situation and spin it in a positive light.

KEEP IT POSITIVE: For example, if an employer asks about a wild photo from your college days, steer the conversation in a more positive direction by pointing out how your outgoing personality will help you thrive in the role.

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY: Most employers will be understanding if you are honest about the incident and can see you are qualified for the role.

Proactive steps professionals can take to build a strong online presence:

STRONG POSTS: Creating a strong digital footprint doesn't necessarily mean starting your own blog or getting a following on Twitter. It may simply entail posting insightful comments in your area of expertise on blogs or message boards, and having a solid LinkedIn presence.

STACK THE DECK IN YOUR FAVOR: Websites such as ZoomInfo allow users to post information about themselves, so consider including details about your professional involvement and qualifications, as well as letters of recommendation and volunteer work, on these types of forums.

MAKE THE MOST OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES: Sites such as LinkedIn are good venues for learning about job openings and making new contacts. But be selective in who you allow into your network; potential employers who have access to your contact list may ask these professionals for referrals.

EXERCISE DISCRETION: When commenting on personal homepages, blogs or social networking sites, give thought as to how your statements may be interpreted if seen by people outside your community. Be aware that whatever you post has an increasing chance of being viewed by potential employers. If you wouldn't want a potential employer to see you posts, consider using a pseudonym.

Visit Robert Half International: roberthalf.com

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