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Chances are, you’ve been on social media today. Maybe you posted, liked, shared or commented on something – pretty normal stuff.

On the flip side, chances are you didn’t spend a great deal of time thinking about future career plans today – again pretty normal stuff.

We get it, when you’re in school, the thought of getting a job feels waaaay off in the future.

You may not realise it but the stuff you are sharing and posting right now could still make an impact when you start shooting out job applications in a few years’ time.

Did you know:

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A 2018 survey found 70% of employers regularly research job applicants on social media and 57% found information or a reason not to hire someone based on the things they posted or shared?

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It’s super important to present your best self on social media and build a good online reputation, by knowing your worth and making smart decisions. Here’ some suggestions…

6 steps to a better digital identity

young boy looking suprised with caption 'me after googling myself'

1. Google yourself

Google your name and usernames to make sure you’re happy with what’s out there. If you find any accounts or content that you reckon your mum wouldn’t be proud of, delete it or report it to be removed.

2. Do a privacy overhaul

Only want certain people to see certain stuff? Set your accounts to ‘private’ or ‘friends only’ to limit who sees what. The less people who see it, the less chance there is for something to go wrong.

family looking serious with the caption 'we need to talk about what you posted'
turtle on its back with the caption 'please don't post this'

3. Un-tag yourself

Put some distance between you and an embarrassing photo or video by asking the person who posted it to delete it. If they won’t, report the post and un-tag it yourself. If you’re the photo/video taker, don’t share or tag content without others permission.

4. Unfriend/unfollow

Been friended by someone you’ve never heard of or someone who looks a bit shady? Delete or block them; don’t be fooled by fake profiles or mutual friend suggestions.

Dog disguised to look human with the caption 'let me be your buddy'
man sweating nervously with microphones in his face. Caption is 'owning up to the stuff i say online'

5. Make positive choices

If you make poor choices while on social media or online games, there may be social or even legal consequences in real life. Remember, anything can be screen captured. Keep your online interactions positive, useful and true.

6. Build your brand

Try using the power of social media to brand yourself and connect to professional networks. Put your best foot forward. Share your achievements, talents and passions online. Your social media accounts should portray you in a positive way.

baby dressed like an adult with the caption 'it's never too early to build your brand'

Be sure to keep on top of your social self. While a one-off check-in is good, you’ll probably want to do a periodic detox of your social media to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Treat other people the way you’d want to be treated. It can feel like there’s a comfortable distance online to do and say things you wouldn’t do in the real world but rest assured, you don’t want that negative stuff haunting you.

If you’re finding yourself the subject of online harassment, be sure to reach out for some