Students Be Advised: Everything You Put Online Can and Will Be Used Against You

social media icons

Here’s how RIC Career Services is helping students clean up their social media accounts in preparation for their job search.

Did you know that 67 percent of employers screen the social media pages of job candidates? Did you also know that 54 percent of employers have actually disqualified job candidates after viewing their social media accounts? (

That’s why Melissa Carvalho, assistant director of career counseling and employer relations at RIC’s Career Development Center, teaches students how to present themselves in the most professional light before they start their job search. Here are six tips:

Do a Google Search of Yourself

Make sure that the information that comes up about you is what you want your potential employer to see.

Be Sure Your Profile Photos Look Professional

Check the images in your photo galleries, as well, and delete any images you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.

Post the Right Things

Take down any inappropriate social media posts. That means posts that are offensive, that show nudity or scantily clad people, that suggest drug or alcohol use or illegal activity – even if they’re memes or jokes.

Open a LinkedIn Account

With a network of 500 million professionals, LinkedIn is an online space where you can show off your work history and achievements, track job openings, find and connect with professionals in your industry and invite your professional connections to endorse your skills. Be sure to add your LinkedIn link to your digital résumé.

Open a Portfolium Account

Show off your academic achievements by opening a Portfolium account, which is a social networking platform that allows college students and recent graduates to supplement their résumés with their academic work and projects, and tag them with the skills that they have gained.

Set Your Privacy Settings to Public

If your social media page is appropriate for employers, then go ahead and set your privacy settings to public, says Carvalho. But if the platform gives glimpses into your personal life, set it as private. Employers say it’s fine to keep your personal accounts private, but it’s also worth having a searchable name that’s public and that depicts you as a professional.

Ultimately, social media accounts mirror who you are. Put your best face forward.

For more information, stop by the Career Development Center located in Adams Library, Level 1A, or call 401-456-8031. The center is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.