7 Steps for Scrubbing Your Social Media Presence

Whether you’re preparing to interview for a new job or just want to clean up your public appearance, tidying up your social media accounts is a great place to start. 

People change over time -that’s natural. Sometimes you might see things from your past that you wish you hadn’t posted, but there’s nothing wrong with going back and reinventing your public image. 

We’ve outlined seven easy steps you can take to scrub your social media presence, so you can move forward without having to worry about outdated posts and land the job you want.  

  1. Google yourself

The first step in cleaning up your online presence is getting a good idea of how you look online to anyone else who might look you up. If you’re going through the interview process for a new job, your new employer will likely use Google to find out more information about you. 

Googling yourself will give you a good snapshot into what the world can find out about you, as you might find something you had no idea was available to the public. 

Don’t just search your first and last name either. Instead, make sure you conduct separate searches, including your first name/last name, first/middle/last name, or first/middle/maiden name. 

You never really know what’s out there until you look, so be as thorough as possible and make notes of what you find and where you find it. This way, you can adjust privacy settings in different places later on. 

  1. Lock down your profiles

Almost every major website on the internet conducts regular maintenance and shuts down for a short period while doing so. You should take a note and do the same thing during your scrub.

Adjusting the privacy setting on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is simple. If you’re not sure how to do it, there are plenty of quick tutorials to help you navigate to your privacy settings

For this step, we recommend setting your profiles to private. Once you’re finished with the scrub, you can choose to leave your social media for close friends and family only or return to public settings. 

If you prefer to keep your social media presence private, it might appeal to your potential employers as it could give the impression that you’re more thoughtful about who you connect with. 

  1. Archive photos that don’t represent who you are today

Once your lockdown is complete, you can begin to sort through old pictures. Remove any photos that don’t represent who you are today or who you are as a professional. 

That might mean removing those college party pictures and countless numbers of selfies. It’s okay to remember good times, but the public doesn’t have any idea how old those pictures are unless they do some searching. 

Most people will see them and automatically judge your character based on what they see. You might come across as narcissistic or immature to those who don’t know you personally, which can negatively affect your chances of getting hired.

You don’t have to delete these photos altogether, though. You can always archive them or adjust the privacy settings so that only a select group of people can view them. 

Just make sure you present yourself as the professional that you are!

  1. Manage your content

Aside from pictures, anyone can go back and see old posts that might’ve been written in a moment of emotion as a reaction. Everyone is human, but generally, you want to minimize or eliminate these types of posts entirely. 

Whether it’s a reaction to some political issue or the results of a football game, only keep posts you’d be comfortable with other people sharing. 

Go back as far as you can to tailor your profiles to present the positive and professional presence you want. 

  1. Unfollow Controversial or Questionable Accounts

If we’re being honest, not every “extremist,” group on social media is actually extremist, but bear in mind that following controversial accounts might ruin your chances of getting hired. 

Employers will respect an individuals’ views more often than not, but they may not hire someone that they feel will jeopardize the image of their company. 

Being mindful of this is essential, and if you’d prefer to continue following whatever pages you want, we recommend keeping your profiles completely private. 

  1. Choose your profile image wisely

Your profile image is the first thing people see on your profile. It’s essentially your first impression online, so make it count! 

Get professional photos taken if you can. If that’s not an option, get dressed up, go to a nice location, and have a friend (or a stranger) take a few mature and respectful photos of you. 

Professional-looking pictures will last you a long time, so putting in the extra effort (or cash) will pay off in the long run. 

Again, it’s important to avoid any and all things controversial, especially when it comes to your first impression. Your profile picture doesn’t have to take a stance on something; it just needs to say, “Hi, this is me and I’m a professional.” 

  1. Present a positive front moving forward

Now that you’ve cleaned up your social media, it’s okay to switch your privacy settings back to public. 

As you move forward, be more thoughtful with your posts. More often than not, it’s okay to not post anything at all. 

If you feel the need to share a thought, ask yourself if you’d be okay with your post being shared on the evening news before hitting the share button. 

If you get tagged in something you don’t want to be a part of, remove the tag and message the person asking to get your permission before tagging you in the future. Your social media is a representation of you to your employers and to the rest of the world, so take the reins!


Managing your social media accounts is essential to maintaining a good public image. If you feel like your accounts could use a good scrubbing, just follow these seven easy steps, and you’ll be back to a positive front in no time at all!

Author Bio

Author Bio
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer with Sorrento who loves writing about online marketing and business advice for college students and budding entrepreneurs.