Cleaning up Your Online Profile: 6 Handy Tips
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In an increasingly digital world, managing your online activity has never been so important. Long gone are the days when your physical meeting with an employer was the first impression you made. Nowadays, the very first indicator of your suitability for a job role is in your online profile.
Considering this, we’ve shared our top 6 tips to make sure the first impression you make when applying for work experience, is always a positive one.
1. Review your privacy settings
According to a recent CareerBuilder study, 70% of employers now use social media to screen candidates. Making sure any personal posts remain private is a must!
An effective way to make sure that you are only publicly sharing what you wouldn’t mind your employers seeing is to log out of all your social media profiles and search for yourself as if you were an employer. Would you find anything potentially damaging to your application? If so, make sure to delete or conceal it from public view.
You can selectively hide aspects of your profile by changing your privacy controls in the settings section of social media applications. It is also useful to repeat this exercise every month as some sites may alter their privacy controls now and again.
Know anybody whose profile might need a 'digital detoxing'?
2. Choose only suitable photos
Whilst social media is designed to facilitate socialising with friends and family, it’s still important to think carefully about the photos you upload. Remember the drunken photo from the back of a taxi on that messy night out? Or that photo of you sprawled across the bathroom floor at 2am? It’s a no-no from us... and will be from prospective employers too!
As well as only having positive images of yourself online, make sure to ask friends to delete any questionable photos of you they may have posted. In the future, be sure to note that once a photo is posted, it may be permanently visible even beyond your social media pages.
3. Remove any inappropriate content
Time and time again we see media scandals in which past tweets, posts, and photos have resurfaced and severely damaged the reputation and careers of high-profile celebrities. If someone reviewed your activity on social media, would they find something incriminating?
Whilst that angry tweet you sent back in 2013 may be long forgotten, if found, it could get you in hot water. Even if you did share your opinions as jokes or without malicious intent, if it’s deemed potentially insulting, threatening or discriminatory, they could hinder your career progression. Make sure to review your profile from top to bottom to ensure this isn’t your story!
4. Make sure you are visible online
We already know that employers regularly use social media to screen candidates before inviting them to interview. However, don't get carried away in concealing all your online activity. You may be surprised to find that having no social media presence can be damaging too.
As published in a recent CareerBuilder study, more than half of employers claimed they are less likely to interview candidates they cannot find online.
Using social media in day-to-day life is increasingly the norm. A report from Statista claims that in 2018, 2.65 billion people were using social media worldwide, which is expected to hit 3.1 billion by 2021. It’s no surprise that employers, therefore, want to see candidates online. Not only does it show engagement with new technologies, but it demonstrates your digital competence too.
5. Create a LinkedIn account
If there is any social media network that can drastically help you climb the career ladder and showcase your best professional self, it is LinkedIn! Now, this is an example of the type of visibility you want!
Designed for ‘anyone looking to navigate their professional life,’ LinkedIn enables you to log your work experience, your academic/professional achievements, and network with industry experts.
Further, you can connect with relevant companies, industries and experts of interest to you. Doing so may help you find useful contacts which may prove valuable when trying to break into your desired industry. If your profile is well put together companies may even contact you with job offers!
Want some support on how you can create the ultimate LinkedIn profile? Click here, for an informative guide that gives you all the top advice to stand out!
6. Engage in industry-related news
Whilst good academic qualifications, work experience, and a professional online presence are very attractive to employers, they are also looking for candidates who demonstrate solid commercial awareness!
Staying up to date on developments in your industry, following key influencers in the field and engaging with news pieces, commentaries, and podcasts regarding such affairs is a great way to show that you’re a serious candidate! You can do this quite easily by sharing relevant posts, tweets, and articles and by actively engaging in online discussions.
Not too difficult right? Hopefully, now that you know how to manage your digital footprint to avoid being shunned from the interview room and are clued up on how to use social media to showcase your best self, you will be unstoppable in pursuit of your dream role.