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5 Top Tips to build and manage your professional online presence
As thousands of students open the envelopes to find out their GCSE results today, many will be pondering their future career options. However after recent experience speaking before local university students, it is clear that career guidance in relation to managing your online presence and social media when looking for work is only just beginning to develop.
Social media is a powerful job searching tool, as now up to 90% of companies use social media in recruitment. However it is not just a case of being on social media to help you look for a job, recruiters and potential employers will be online searching for information about you, with your social media profiles coming near the top of those Google search results! So you need to ensure your public profiles represent you appropriately in a professional manner for potential employers.
So here are some of our top tips to build and manage a professional online presence to help you land that job!
#1. Start where everybody starts and Google yourself!
Have you ever Googled yourself? Google is the first place the majority of Internet users start when searching for content online. Have you ever thought about the idea that other people will Google you?
Google yourself and see what search results come up. Your social profiles will come highest in the results, which is great news as it means you can manage the content that people see when they search for you based on your social media activity. The more active you are on a social media channel, the higher it will come on the search rankings.
Here are my search results when I Google myself. LinkedIn, Twitter, my blog and Facebook in that order. So if I’m looking for a job and someone is searching for me, I need to make sure my social media profiles represent me well to potential recruiters and employers.
#2. Facebook privacy settings – Check them and check them again!
So much has been talked about when it comes to Facebook privacy, but I’m still amazed how many people have the lowest privacy setting for their account. The default settings Facebook choose means that information can be viewed on your profile without being friends with you on Facebook or even being a Facebook user. So if you have content on your Facebook profile you don’t want others to see, change your privacy settings.
#3. Create a LinkedIn profile and use it!
Recruiters use LinkedIn to search for potential job candidates. You need to ensure you have an up to date profile that showcases your past experience and expertise. It isn’t just for an online CV as some may say. LinkedIn is the social network used by professionals, for professional activity only.
- Optimize your profile and get found by making sure your profile is 100% complete, including keywords you want to be found for, your education, expertise, skills, links to any other online evidence of your expertise and request recommendations for your past work experience from your fellow professionals on the network.
- Join your related industry groups to keep up to date with the latest discussions in your chosen field and contribute your ideas to showcase your expertise.
- Build your network. Find your offline network online to begin with – you never know who they may be connected with on LinkedIn, it may be the person who knows a key person at the company you want to work for!
- Follow companies you are interested in and keep up to date with their news and job opportunities. See what experience do their employees have.
#4. Create a Twitter account and use it!
Create a Twitter profile and find the conversations being had around your areas of interest and join in! Use tools such as followerwonk and hashtags to find the people and hashtag conversations in your chosen field to try and engage in. Are the companies you are interested in working for on Twitter? Follow them and see what latest developments, projects and issues the company is tweeting about. Are they tweeting job oppotrunties?
- Be professional on Twitter - but still be yourself
- Re-tweet useful information and get re-tweeted - Be seen as a valued, helpful member of someone's network
- Find top tweeters in your area of interest that you can follow and engage in conversation.
#5. Build Online Evidence of expertise
Start blogging on areas of interest and industry topics to evidence your expertise in the field – You can build a free WordPress blog in moments!
- Use your blog as your hub for your social media.
- Blog on topics related to the field you want to work in and spread on your other social media.
- Tweet it and use a relevant hashtag, you never know who might find it.
- Blog on current topics where possible.
- People are offered jobs from being found on Twitter and writing relevant blogposts.
It is important not only to have social profiles but to use them effectively for enhancing your presence online and as a job searching tool. Take a look at our last blogpost for more tips on managing a personal and professional presence.