In today’s digital age most of us, if not all, have a social media account of some kind - on Facebook, Tinder, twitter, Instagram (the list goes on), where we share our daily activity, pictures and thoughts for public viewing. Now although it may seem like a good idea at the time to post that picture of you downing a bottle of Sambuca at the company Christmas party or summer BBQ most of us do not think about the effect this has on our “professional image”. What most fail to realise is that it is a growing trend for Employers to utilise social media as a form of vetting process for potential employees, all they have to do is type your name into google and they’re granted access to all your dirty laundry laid out to dry.

social mediaAs a recruiter it has become increasingly evident that one of the key fundamentals employers are looking for when recruiting new employees is a clean online profile/image. So as a gesture of good will to job seekers I thought I would put together a post to help “clean up your act” online which will ultimately help to secure a new job in the future, along with some steps you can take to utilise your social media effectively and build a strong online presence.

When applying for a new job it is absolutely crucial we are “marketing” ourselves effectively and treating ourselves as a brand which we must sell to potential employers or recruiters.

Here are 5 easy steps we can take to do this:

Google yourself- If you want to control what other people see when they google you then this is the best way to start. Remove any damaging photography you feel you wouldn’t want someone to view when forming a first impression of you. I guess it would help to think about this like your online dating profile (without the suggestive posing, that isn’t going to help you at all). This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of any evidence of you having fun though…If they wanted to hire a robot they probably could.

Create a strong LinkedIn Profile- In the same way that volunteering at a dogs’ home will make people think you are marriage material on Tinder, having a strong LinkedIn presence will impress future employers. Create a strong headline and upload a professional photo to prove that you’re serious about your career. If you have a LinkedIn profile filled with credible and relevant recommendations too, well, you’ve got the golden ticket.

Follow prospective employers you’re interested in. They’re more likely to be interested in you if you show a genuine interest in them. So “follow” or “Like” them on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and Pinterest. Following an organization also keeps you informed about what they are up to and what’s going on in the industry (this is great for interview conversation)

Marketing yourselfHave a professional email address- I know this may not seem that important but this can literally be a make or break for you during the application process. During my time in recruitment over the past 4 years I have seen some absolute corkers! Examples include babyk8i@, BeerBellyBrad@... I won’t go on. I understand if you have had the same email address since you were at school but this really doesn’t help create a professional image. Take a few minutes out of your day to create a new email for you to include in your applications/CV. It really will make the world of difference.

Be yourself on social media (just the self you would want to meet someone’s parents) - It’s good to be opinionated and individual but just make sure you aren’t ruffling any feathers and keep it PG. If you are constantly writing argumentative comments or posting controversial content this isn’t going to stand you in good stead with future employers. Just share the good things like photographs of your achievements, or perhaps you are helping to raise money for charity.  Employers are not only looking for someone who looks good on paper but someone that will get on well with the team and has a good personality.

By taking these tips on board, you can totally overhaul your online presence. Happy Job hunting!

If you’re looking for a new role in Digital Technology, head over to our jobs page or email to be put in touch with the right person to help you.

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