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New App Helps to Keep Your Online Image Clean

Despite partying hard all throughout college, you somehow managed to graduate with decent grades and now you're on your way to paving a successful career path. Your partying days may be behind you now, but that doesn't mean they won't come back to haunt you when you least expect it – for instance, when you're trying to land your dream job. A simple Google search is all it takes for recruiters to dig up every humiliating photo that you've ever been tagged in on Facebook. Well, now a new app aims to prevent your past from ruining your chances of a brighter future.

Despite partying hard all throughout college, you somehow managed to graduate with decent grades and now you’re on your way to paving a successful career path. Your partying days may be behind you now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come back to haunt you when you least expect it – for instance, when you’re trying to land your dream job. A simple Google search is all it takes for recruiters to dig up every humiliating photo that you’ve ever been tagged in on Facebook. Well, now a new app aims to prevent your past from ruining your chances of a brighter future.

Be in the "clear" with this new past-erasing app

(Photo Credit: Rafiq Sarlie/Flickr)

The app is called Clear and was founded by a professional who lost his dream job, thanks to what he chose to post on his Twitter feed years prior. According to the site, Clear’s founder, Ethan Czahor, created the app “to make sure situations like [his] never happen to anyone ever again.”

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The app, which is currently in beta testing, connects to your social networks and compiles a list of your more questionable posts from the past, using its advanced algorithms and IBM Watson, and allows you to delete the flagged posts right there in the app, without having to filter through hours of newsfeeds and walls to find career-ruining posts.

Why is keeping a clean past important for your career’s potential? For starters, research shows that 93 percent of recruiters currently use or plan to use social media to find candidates. What’s more, roughly 55 percent of recruiters have reconsidered hiring a candidate based on their social media profiles, with 61 percent of those decisions being unfavorable towards the candidates, according to a Jobvite survey.

Even college recruiters understand the importance of having a stellar online presence and reputation, especially for graduates hoping to get into a top-notch MBA programs.

“Business school admissions officers […] are often looking for candidates who will make not just make good students, but also be great alumni,” writes Delece Smith-Barrow at U.S. News.

One damning post or sloppy-drunk photo could ruin your chances of getting into your college of choice. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If that doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of you, then get this. There’s even an online tool that recruiters or potential employers can use that claims it can gauge your emotional stability based on your Twitter feed. This wizardry, known as AnalyzeWords, is based off of James Pennebaker’s Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (L.I.W.C.) and “looks at the words we use, and in what frequency and context, and uses this information to gauge our psychological states and various aspects of our personality,” according to The New Yorker. In a nutshell, the more you post, the more neurotic you are and the more you need social support from peers, according to Pennebaker. As you can imagine, this type of information in the hands of decision-makers can make or break you in the real world.

We live in a highly technologically advanced world that is evolving faster than we know what to do with. As it turns out, technology can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare, and the good thing is, you have control to decide which one. Start by cleaning up your online profiles and stop posting things that could jeopardize your credibility as a mature adult and professional. It’s really that easy.

Tell Us What You Think

Has your past come back to haunt you in your career? If so, what were the consequences? Share your story of a lesson learned with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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