by Matt Alderton | February 13, 2018
Social media is a great way to stay connected to friends and acquaintances. When you're looking for a new job, however, it can be a landmine.
"Recruiters and hiring managers sifting through your social media accounts before giving you a call is nothing new, but their vetting process might be more rigorous … than you think," says Fast Company contributor Cory Fernandez.

Obviously, you shouldn't tweet anything offensive, or post questionable photos on Facebook. But there's more to crafting a positive online image than that. For instance, have you considered what your personal "brand" is?

"I encourage professionals to have a style guide for themselves. What's your color? What's your font? I want to get a sense of how you see yourself as a brand," Ariel Lopez, founder and CEO of career platform 2020Shift, tells Fernandez.

You also should take care to curate your friends list.

"On social media, your network connections can be a huge factor in helping you land a position, or at least getting you an interview. But not everyone in your social network is necessarily as valuable in that regard," explains Fernandez, who says recruiters sometimes comb through candidates' social profiles for so-called "backdoor references." "These aren't the folks you reach out to in advance then pass along their contact information to prospective employers so they can sing your praises. Instead, they're connections you may have ... who recruiters contact on their own to get intel on your skills and experience."

To keep backdoor references from hurting you, take a closer look at your connections.

"Consider everyone in your social network -- particularly your LinkedIn connections -- to be potential backdoor references that diligent recruiters might track down," Fernandez says. "So comb through your accounts and trim the fat, axing anyone who may not have nice things to say about you."

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.