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Hats off to you, grads!

Time to venture off into the real world and start adulting. As you begin your job search, there are a couple of things to consider refining — one of them being your social media accounts. The HR departments you’re applying for might not be too crazy about that one time you did it for the gram in your dorm room. Or maybe there’s that one time you went on a wild Twitter or Facebook rant about the brand you’re applying for. These are all things that might come back to bite you in the behind.

Here are some steps to take to clean up your social media accounts before you get started with your application process.

1 Google Yourself

This is the easiest way possible to get the ball rolling on what needs to be explained, tweaked and deleted. If you have postings that are coming up on your first page that shouldn’t be there, try to clean up as much as you can. Put your settings on private when necessary for social media. If not? Be prepared to explain why.

2 Delete Anything With Profanity

This is a given — if you wouldn’t say it in an office setting, you probably shouldn’t be saying it online either. Cut the f-bombs out.

3 Nix Any Distasteful Photos

Your photos are your first outward introduction to those who have not met you before, including future employers. That being said, maybe you don’t want the first time they see your face to be in a picture two years ago at the house party with a red solo cup in one hand and a middle finger up on the other. Once again, delete or hide anything you wouldn’t show your parents.

4 Delete Your Rants

Okay, so maybe that one flight that you went on wasn’t great or that one restaurant you attended a year ago had terrible service. But the game changes once you’re applying for a firm that supports or works with said brand. If you went on Twitter tirades that you’re not proud of, it’s for the best that you just try to delete as much as you can. If you can’t, try to come up with some solutions to provide or constructive commentary on what you’ve learned about the brand since then.

5 Think of What You Want Your Brand to Look Like

This is the fun part — contrary to popular belief, your professional brand should be a reflection of who you truly are. What are your values? Your passions? The causes you care about? These should all be reflected in the articles you’re sharing and the content you’re creating. These are the things that are going to make you a stand out applicant to a company, especially if you can find a creative way to tie it to whatever position you’re up for.