We all have an online presence. We don’t all have a professional online presence. When it comes to looking for work make sure that you present the best possible digital you.
More and more employers are checking out potential employees online. They might take a look at your social media profiles for example. There are a number of ways that you can develop an online presence but it’s important that you do this the right way – else you might give the wrong impression and miss out on a great opportunity.
Your digital existence
The way that you appear online might well depend on what kind of career you are hoping for in the future. We work with lots of young people who want to be writers or journalists. Those who are savvy and proactive are working hard, despite being young, at developing their online presence. They are doing this by writing for us, through social media and by completing their own online blog.
Online blogs won’t be a must have for most people, but if you want a career in writing or you perhaps want to be known as an expert / commentator in the future, a blog can be a great way to develop your ‘brand’.
Social media accounts are something that most people have. The thing to remember is that if your social media is used primarily for showing you and your mates out on the town or for simply posting silly stuff for people to giggle at then it’s not really using social media well to network or to present yourself in a professional way. The question that you need to ask is – how do I want to be known? What do I want a future employer to see in me that will make them want to give me the job?
Setting up a professional account
Some social media sites are better than others for professional purposes. If you’re going on LinkedIn to get the latest gossip and look at other people’s drunken selfies then you’re probably (or at least should be) sadly disappointed. LinkedIn is great for creating a professional online space where you can clearly put your qualifications, skills and achievements out there. It’s also a good place to connect with people in the industry, follow companies and keep up to date with opportunities. Twitter can also be a handy tool for engaging with employers and industry experts.
The import thing is to keep it professional and keep it positive. You can tell a lot about someone by the way that they react to posts or events on social media and at the back of your mind should be those skills that are valued in the workplace and how these are reflected through the things that you do and say outside of the workplace (including on social media).
Some top tips for the digital you
- Create a professional email address.
- Apply the count to 10 rule before responding to anything topical – ask yourself – if you have a rant about something or someone, what does that tell people about you?
- Keep all your pictures professional – a bit of light-heartedness is fine.
- Stay off social media late at night (especially if you’ve been out on the town) – unless you want any potential employers to think that you’re likely to be late for work constantly following a late night.
- Check your spelling and grammar – yes it’s social media but there’s no excuse for being a grammar and spelling slob – this will just tell people that you don’t pay attention to detail.