May 13th, 2013
11:06 AM ET

College grads, clean up your online presence

Congratulations Class of 2013. You've got better prospects for finding a job than any of the last four years. The National Association of Colleges and Employers says employers plan to hire 2.1 percent more new grads this year than last. That’s a head start your older friends haven’t enjoyed in years.  While the economy may not be roaring, it is purring, and your chances are better than they have been in awhile.

So don't let your "likes" and boozy pictures sink your chances.

Time to clean up your social media profile. A hiring manager will definitely Google you, and may very well ask to "friend" you. It's the modern equivalent of checking your references and it only takes a few seconds for them to find out who you are and make snap judgments about you.

Last year, a commercial real-estate CEO in Florida told me about how he pulled a six-figure job offer from a recent MBA graduate because he didn't like what he found online. You think all those pictures with your friends in bars are inocuous? To a new boss, they show you're immature.

 Remember when you "liked" the group "Indict George Bush for War Crimes?" Or "President Obama is a Socialist?" Companies hiring workers don't want politics, they want productivity. Anything that appears like you'd bring controversy or baggage to the office will sink your chances.

 Labor market stats show there are 3 available workers for every available job in America.

Your vast library of keg-stands, middle-finger flips and profane posts is probably not the best way to prove to a new boss you're the one to hire. 

               -Christine Romans

Filed under: Your Money