Professional eminence and your digital reputation

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We all love to nosey through facebook and share our rage on twitter… most find online profiles pretty entertaining and enriching, seeing and sharing last nights shocking photos, following our favourite celebrities and bridging the gap between old friends.

But what about your future employer? Would they find that photo of you funny, what about that comment your best mate left on your wall, or about that tweet you posted when you where out last night!!! :O

I will never forget the heart dropping feeling I had when I was sat amongst 100 other interns at our two days induction before we officially started our placements, and there I was up on the huge projector screen amidst other culprits showcasing their digital selfs as fun loving party goer, screaming with my tongue out to some ones camera and proud as punch to share that with the online world. I immediately changed the profile picture there and then on my phone and made all similar photos private or removed.

The lesson was clear and simple. A social media profile is a commodity in every way. You are targeted not only by advertisers, market researchers but also by your future employers. Make your profiles work in your favour, ensure they provide a valuable representation of the person you are and think about what that would mean for an employer.

I know this rule doesn’t apply to everyone, but I am targeting you students, who have a range of professional careers at their finger tips when they graduate to think about their online presence.

Take these steps if you want to move with changes in more and more company’s recruitment process, as many now have a particular focus on social media profiles in conjunction with any job application you submit.

  1. Identify yourself – do not hide behind a false name – what are you hiding?
  2. Be responsible – you are personally liable for everything you publish, think twice before you share opinions or events and correct you mistakes if you do publish them – they could land you trouble with someone somewhere
  3. Think Professional – showcasing your work/volunteering experiences will go down a lot better than that jug of bear you are photographed having.
  4. Add value – use your Facebook/twitter/linkedin to provide worthwhile information to others.
  5. Do you have a profile that needs a professional make over!
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