We’re in the digital age where just about everyone has one – or multiple – social media accounts. If you haven’t done it recently (or ever), you should take the time to clean up your online presence before applying for jobs. It might be the difference between getting hired or rejected.

In the past, the only information a potential hospitality employer could access about you was the details on your job application, but the digital era has made that a thing of the past. If you’re in the market for a new gig, you must take inventory of your online presence before submitting applications. It may not seem fair, but you won’t land a great opportunity if your digital space is anything but squeaky clean.

Still not convinced your online presence matters to employers? Learn four reasons to clean up your online presence before applying for jobs:

Why You Should Clean Up Your Online Presence Before Applying for Jobs

You need to know what’s out there

Chances are, you’ve had a social media presence for years, so you probably don’t remember much of the content you’ve posted. Plus, other people have likely tagged you in more than a few posts and photos throughout the years — and in many cases, you may not even be aware of their existence. Beyond social media, you may also be featured in blog posts, news articles, company websites and other non-complimentary content you don’t know about, so find out now and try to get it removed, before a potential hospitality employer sees it.

Employers will check

It essentially goes without saying that recruiters are checking your LinkedIn profile, but they’re not stopping there. According to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey, 60% of employers use social networking sites — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. — to learn more about candidates. While these hiring managers claim they’re not intentionally seeking out negative information, if it’s in the public realm, they’re going to find it.

Unflattering content will damage your peputation

Employers know you have a personal life, but exposing too much of it on social media could cost you a hospitality job. The Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016 revealed some telling statistics about the impact your social persona can have on your job prospects. For example, 47% of recruiters don’t approve of photos including alcohol consumption and 60% frown upon oversharing.

No one wants to hire a liability

Recruiters want to learn as much as possible about candidates before extending an offer, so your digital presence can make or break your chances of getting the job. If you’ve posted negative content about previous employers or customers, the hiring manager will assume you’ll eventually do the same about their company.

We hope you find these tips helpful and use them to clean up your online presence before applying for jobs. If you need assistance finding a great gig, contact LGC. We offer tons of flexible work opportunities nationwide.