How to Improve Your Online Image before Applying for Your First Job (Guest Post)

Are you a recent graduate looking for your first job? Here’s something you should know.

Writing a good resume and strong cover letter is no longer enough to land you a fantastic job. You also need an impeccable online reputation.

That’s right. After reading your resume (remember to tailor it!), recruiters type your name into Google, browse the search results, and check your social media profiles. That’s why you need a polished online presence to land your first job.

Here are four tips to help you curate your online reputation so you can make a great first impression on recruiters.

How to Improve Your Online Image

1. Be Present Online

Can you remember life before Facebook and Instagram? No?

As a member of the digital generation trying to figure out what to do after graduation you’ve probably shared most aspects of your life online. From dieting to dating, it’s all out there. At first, the realization that your private life is public may tempt you to set your profiles to private and disappear from the web.

smiling woman

After all, if recruiters can’t find you, they won’t stumble upon compromising posts or photos. But hiding is not going to score you a job. In a recent survey, 35% of recruiters admitted that if they can’t find any information about a candidate online, they’re less likely to invite them to an interview.

Related Content: Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Networking for Job Search


What recruiters should find online is a professional narrative that’s coherent with your offline persona. If you make any promises about your qualities on a resume, use your online presence to deliver on these promises. For example, if you claim to be a talented writer, set up an online portfolio with your best work.

You can also post work on platforms like Vimeo, Flickr, or Picasa. That way, you can be sure that recruiters find it when typing your name into Google. Your online persona can seriously boost your chances of landing a job interview. You just need a strong personal brand that shows you’re a responsible professional.

2. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Next, you’ll want to optimize your graduate LinkedIn profile. Adopt the habit of updating your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis. Curating your LinkedIn presence is as critical as writing a student resume that grabs the attention of recruiters.

linkedin logo

Join relevant groups to share your knowledge, ask questions, and engage with other members of the community. Optimize your profile with recommendations and endorsements from colleagues, alumni, and supervisors from past internships.

Related Content: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using LinkedIn for Job Search


Becoming an active part of the industry you’re interested in is the first step toward developing a stellar reputation within your field.

3. Review the Privacy and Security Settings of Your Social Profiles

In a recent survey, 60% of recruiters said they use social media networks to research candidates. So, you’ll need to decide how much information you want to share on each platform. For example, you’ll want a fully public LinkedIn profile and a private Facebook profile.

facebook app on mobile

Depending on your field, you may want to leave your Twitter and Instagram accounts public. Remember to check the permission and privacy settings of all the social apps installed on your mobile devices. They’re often different from the desktop versions.

4. Get Rid of Unwanted Content

When it comes to your social media profiles, the only way to take control of your online image is to delete compromising or unprofessional content.

Keep in mind that the most damaging content on social media is alcohol and drug-related posts and images. Of the surveyed recruiters who said they check social media profiles, 43% stated that they disqualify candidates who post such content.


After you clean up your social media profiles, it’s time to check Google results. Log out of your Google account if you have one so that you don’t get personalized results. Type in your name and browse through the first few pages of search results. If you see something compromising, you can get rid of it easily by following Google’s content removal procedure. Bear in mind that this only applies to private or confidential information. To remove awkward photos, you’ll need to contact website administrators.

Related Content: How College Students Can Further Their Career Interests Using LinkedIn


Check Google Images as well. If you spot any damaging content, head over here to remove it.

Key Takeaway

When you’re applying for your first job, you’ll be competing against many candidates. And you can be sure that most of them cleaned up their online reputations. Especially, if you go about sending out your application the right way.

A recent survey revealed that 59% of candidates polish their online profiles to appeal to prospective employers.

That’s why curating your reputation should become an essential part of your job hunt. Take control of your online image, and you’ll boost your chances of landing a great job.

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About Bart Turczynski


Bart is a writer at Uptowork, a career advice website, where he shares trips about writing resumes and surviving the recruitment process. In his spare time, he enjoys indie video games and cold brew coffee.

This entry was posted in Adult Education, Career Ideas, Guest Posts, Tips for Jobseeker.