[Jennie Couling | Contributing Writer]
In a time when 80% of employers Google jobseekers before inviting them to an interview, cultivating your online presence has never been so important. On 17th February, as part of Give it a Go!, Volunteer and Societies Coordinator Sean Howlett and ex-Trident Media editor Elizabeth Schuetz ran a workshop on ‘Developing Your Online You’. Here are some of the highlights:
Four steps to clean up your online presence:
- Google yourself: See if you find anything you should know about e.g. pictures or posts you wouldn’t be happy for an employer to see or someone with the same name.
- Remove dead accounts: Unless you want people to be able to see 13 year old you and your Bebo account, it’s probably a good idea to go back and delete.
- Look at your accounts from an outside view: There’s a tool under privacy settings on Facebook which lets you see your profile as someone who’s not your friend would. For other social networks, try opening an incognito window and looking at them.
- Remove anything you’re not happy with: Most things can be easily hidden. Facebook posts can be made visible to only a select few and tweets and pictures can be deleted. However it takes a while for search results to be updated, so this is not one to be done the day the job hunt starts
- Keep posts short and snappy: The internet is a busy place and rarely people have the time or patience to read a 1000 word blog post about how much you love your new mascara. So keep content concise and to the point – there’s a reason Twitter caps you at 140 characters.
- Take a step back and think before you post: How would someone who doesn’t know you take it?
- Connect accounts: This one needs taking with a pinch of salt. Yes, include your Instagram in your Twitter bio to make yourself seem like a coherent and consistent person, but don’t link your Facebook and Twitter and annoy all your friends while you live tweet the oscars.
- Develop your own voice: Be aware that potential employers can see what you’re doing but don’t let this strangle the personality out of your online presence.
- Share already existing content: If you like it, odds are other people will too.
- Keep things updated! Nothing looks as bad as an account that’s only resurrected once a month.
- Share the things you’re passionate about: It’s your space after all. Employers aren’t looking at your social media expecting to see posts about how many hours you’ve put in that week – they want to see you’re a person too.
- Start a LinkedIn account: You’re not a highflying professional yet, but keeping a track of all the extras you do outside your course and picking up recommendations from people you’ve done work experience for will make starting the job hunt a lot less painful.
- Don’t just throw content online: Subtweeting may be therapeutic but filling your profile with it makes you seem boring and whiney. Social media is made to connect people, so do just that! Talk to other people, talk about things other people are talking about.
- Don’t be a keyboard warrior: If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say in on the internet.
- Don’t swear when it’s not appropriate: This one differs according to people’s personal tastes. Some people don’t mind it in certain contexts; but avoid swearing at people, dropping the c-bomb or using it so often that it looks like you’re incapable of expressing yourself in any other way.
- Don’t create second profiles: Iit only looks like you’ve got something to hide.
Three useful tools:
- Hootsuite – Lets you create different feeds for different things on Twitter instead of repeatedly searching terms, hashtags or groups. It also allows you to see how many people have seen your tweet and schedule tweets.
2) Google Alerts – Get a notification every time a term you choose appears anywhere on the internet. Great for keeping track of who’s talking about you or any of your platforms.
3) Flipboard – Have all of your feeds in one place in a personalised magazine like layout, making reading updates and tweets more convenient and easy on the eyes.