It is impossible to avoid having an online presence nowadays. Even if you don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account your lack of profile automatically says a lot about your preferences. On the other hand, having a strong, professional online presence can be a great way to boost your employability. In 2013 CareerBuilder conducted a survey to discover what social media behaviour impressed or put off employers. They found that employers disliked:
- Candidates who had posted provocative/ inappropriate photos
- Candidates who had bad mouthed previous employers
- Candidates who had poor communications skills
- Candidates who had lied about qualifications
However, employers were impressed by candidates who had:
- Conveyed a professional image
- Shown their personality
- Displayed a wide range of interests
- Demonstrated good communications skills.
As this survey reveals, social media image can both help and hinder your job search. Here are jobs24’s top four tips for how to improve your online presence:
- Search yourself. To begin working on your online presence you must first be able to see what employers see. Try typing your name into a search engine and see what pops up
- Write a book or product review on Amazon. This is a quick and easy way to create a positive trail of online activity. Perhaps pick a book which has relevance to your chosen career. Make sure you express yourself as eloquently as you can to maximise your appeal to future employers.
- Check your privacy settings! It’s fine to use Facebook purely for social purposes (after all it is social media) but make sure you’ve adjusted your privacy settings accordingly. Facebook changes their policies on privacy every so often so it’s good practice to make sure you keep an eye on how much of your personal information is available online.
- Set up a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great way of ensuring employers find the information you want them to find. You can use LinkedIn as an online CV to list your previous employment. You can also ask old employers or colleagues to ‘recommend you’ on LinkedIn – the online equivalent of a reference. Creating a LinkedIn profile for future employers to find is sure to give the impression of professionalism, especially if you’d rather keep Facebook for personal use.