When I was a kid, my dad used to say 'you'll be judged by the company you keep, so be careful who you hang out with!' Of course, I listened to his advice for a second, then chose to rebel (as any teenager would!) and got up to more mischief than I care to admit. I Luckily for me, I came to my senses before I got myself into any real trouble, and even luckier for me it was the time before the internet; no online photos, no videos, no blogs – the only people judging me for my wild behaviour were my close friends and family. Phew!
It’s a completely different time now though. Your online profile is the most important personal branding exercise you will undertake outside of your close personal relationships. You will be judged by people, particularly recruiters & future employers, within seconds of them looking at your online profile and firm (and often forever) opinions will be formed about who you are. Whether or not these opinions are accurate is, at that point, completely out of your control…or is it?
Here are my top 3 tips for improving your profile and ensuring that your next employer feels like you look like someone worth speaking to:
1. LinkedIN is to be used for professional reasons only. Your profile picture, the discussions you have and the articles you post need to be of a professional nature, ideally related to your field of expertise. Your sexy RSVP photo does not belong here! Your political views, your selfies and photos of what you cooked for dinner do not belong here. Your future employer may one day be judging you on that joke you found funny at the time, but looking back can see was rather tasteless - stick to professional content and stay safe.
2. Facebook is the second place, after LinkedIn, where future employers will look. If you’d rather wait for them to get to know you before they see you raving at the Serpent Rainbow Festival then tighten your security settings. Go through the photo’s you’ve been tagged in and untag the ones you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.
3. Twitter profiles are less anonymous than you think. Swearing, being unkind, rude, offensive or negative isn’t acceptable no matter how funny you think you are. Keep your comments intelligent and interesting! If the damage has already been done and there are a few Tweets floating around you'd rather a potential employer wasn't judging you on, it's time for a clean up - go back and delete any questionable comments before your interview.
Of course, I could go on but the point I’m trying to make is that your personal brand is THE most important asset you have. Your photos, comments, blogs and videos can come back and haunt you at the worst possible moments so think about what you’re posting and what’s being posted about you. Remember, people have lost their jobs over inappropriate social media posts - don't lose your dream job before it's even yours!
At Creative Recruiters we always suggest that you keep your wild nights private, keep your political and religious views to yourself and remember, like it or not, the world wide web, and possibly your next employer, is silently judging you!
Have a great week everyone.
Director - Creative Recruiters
m: +61 413 453 563
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