You've probably heard it a thousand times, but it's an admonition that cannot be stressed enough. Your social profile is a sure giveaway to who you are as a person and as a worker - and employers know it. It's not an HR tactic used only by forward-thinking companies. Employers everywhere are searching your social presence to see if you're the kind of person they want working for them.

Social media has opened doors for job seekers like never before, but the same tool that's working for you can also work against you if you're not careful. Think of social media as an artist's palette of colors. Your posts, friends, pictures, videos and privacy settings are like the colors, light, shadows and contrasts that create a multi-dimensional portrait of you. What kind of picture is social media painting of you?

Need to clean up your online image? Here are 4 things you can do you to make sure your social profile is reflecting the right professional image to employers:

  1. Set your privacy settings appropriately. If you are going to share information that's not for employers' eyes, adjust your privacy settings to make sure they can't see it.

  2. Be careful what you say. Your commentary says a lot about you. Ask yourself, “Is this something I want a potential employer to know?” If not, clean it up!

  3. Be mindful of pictures and video. If you want to be viewed as a person that’s professional, responsible and right for the job, don’t posts pictures or video that portray just the opposite. And, if your friends are tagging you in inappropriate pictures, revisit your privacy settings!

  4. Take a good hard look at your friend list. Are there people on there that are interacting with you in a way that could damage your job prospects? You don’t have to ‘unfriend’ them, but you might want to inform them of your professional pursuits so they are not unknowingly working against you. Or, you could just block questionable posts.

By taking a little social inventory and heeding this advice, you'll successfully avoid social media job sabotage!