Managing Your Online Personal Brand
When it comes to providing advice to job-seekers, the majority of guidance focuses on how to create the perfect CV and how to excel in a job interview. However in the 21st century there’s one more piece of the puzzle that job-seekers need to be conscious of when looking to make their next career move, and that’s their personal online brand.
The overwhelming growth in social media has seen a blurring of the line between private and public life, and as the use of social networks continues to gather strength, more and more employers are using the internet and social media to research potential employees.
So what does this mean for you?
It’s vital to recognise that while social networks such as Facebook are intended to facilitate casual socialising and interaction between friends, they are being increasingly monitored and used by employers to form opinions on candidates for their jobs. Some research even indicates as many as 44% of recruiters have eliminated candidates based on what they have found online (according to a survey conducted by ExecuNet).
All this means that you need to proactively check what you are saying — and indeed what is being said about you — and ensure that if you want to be perceived as a professional, your online presence reflects that. Because in age where the line between private and public life is becoming evermore blurred, personal web content can have an effect on your professional success.
Below are some simple steps you can follow to ensure that you maintain a professional online presence:
- Create a professional email address from which to email potential employers; a great CV may not ever be seen if it is sent from an address such as email@example.com
- Monitor the photos, videos and messages you and your friends post, and ensure they do not show you undertaking inappropriate behaviour — ask friends to remove any photos/videos and messages you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see/read
- Be conscious of when and how often you post, as regular updates during business hours can create the impression that you spend more time developing your online profile than you do working
- Create a Google News Alert on your name so that you can be aware of what is being said about you and take action as needed
- Ensure you have a presence on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn as well as more social sites such as Facebook
- Be savvy about your privacy settings and have consistency across your profiles on different sites
Remember that anything that goes up online can spread very quickly