Hunting for a Job? Use These 4 Tips to Screen Your Social Presence First

How to vet yourself before employers do

Unlike in Las Vegas, what happens on the internet doesn't always stay on the internet.

So if you're on the lookout for a marketing or media job, take a moment to review your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles, among other digital reflections of your personality. Your social media presence can provide a leg up on the competition—or eliminate you before you even get in the door. After all, if you can't manage your own social profile, how can brands trust you to manage theirs?

"Think about the perception that you want to build," said Tom Slaski, vp of global human resources at GMR Marketing. "You're looking for a professional career, so make sure your social media presence reflects that."

Geline Midouin, 360i's chief talent officer, said roughly half the resumes she receives have some link to social profiles. "It's increasingly important," she said.

Here are four tips for making sure your online presence is helpful instead of a hindrance:

A recruiter at a job fair might get 100 or more resumes for four job openings. Connecting with companies and recruiters on professional-themed social sites like LinkedIn can help you stand out in a crowded field.

"I think by the time you finish up your freshman year in college you should have a LinkedIn profile," said Slaski. "That little foot in the door can be a world of difference."

However, graduates can leverage more than just LinkedIn or Glassdoor. After all, media and marketing, especially for those just starting out, is becoming an incredibly social environment. "There might be key contacts as you target specific industries and companies that you'll want to work for that you may want to follow," said Midouin. "[Maybe] someone from that company is on Twitter or [you] connect with them via LinkedIn. To the average recruiter that kind of signals to them that you're a little bit more social media savvy."

However, when it comes to Facebook …

Though it's ironic, the world's most popular social platform is one that prospective marketers should have the smallest presence on—at least publicly. Though it's crazy for anyone to expect you to not have a Facebook profile in 2016, make sure only those who are already in your social network can see your posts.

"Don't keep it public for the most part," said Midouin. "Make sure that you keep your profile private so that [people don't see] those inadvertent moments. … It still happens." We've all been there: Pictures of an alcohol-infused night out might be funny when you're 18 or 19, but now that you're looking for a job, you want to make sure there's nothing out there that would cause a recruiter to have doubts.

"All the social party pictures … get those things out of there," said Slaski. "You don't want that to be the reason you don't get a job."

If you're looking to get into marketing, the rise of social platforms can provide a chance to show off your knowledge of the space. Many industries have chats you can join on Twitter or groups on LinkedIn around industry-specific topics.

"Companies want to hire people that have a point of view," said Midouin. "Lots more kids are being savvy in terms of having an opinion on an industry topic, whether they're creating their own blogs or having more of a presence in terms of industry chats."

This may seem obvious, don't sell yourself as something you're not. Your social profile can work as a second resume of sorts, and as with resumes, recruiters will fact-check what you write.

"I've had occasions where people have highlighted one thing on their social media profile, and they come in, and you feel like you're talking to two different people," Midouin said.

In the end, just be honest about your accomplishments. Your future employers will thank you for it.