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Be smart with social media
Your CV and cover letter aren’t the only things that shape your personal brand. There are now numerous digital media platforms where we can create profiles to upload content and connect with people around the world.
In the UK, four out of five adults now own a mobile phone and on these devices we have access to social media platforms where we can browse, post and share things with our friends 24/7 – and many of us do. It is however, imperative that you remember anything you upload to the internet is available for anyone and everyone to see, particularly if you have a public profile.
The comments you make, the posts you like and the photos you are tagged in can all shape the perceptions someone may have of you and if you’re applying for a job your potential employer may also come across these messages you are casting out into the World Wide Web.
Companies seek employees who are respectful, uphold their values and possess a professional demeanour. Your online presence and the interactions you have with others on social media platforms directly contribute to your overall personal brand.
Professional social media accounts are those which are specially developed for the purpose of building your professional brand, networking and looking for career opportunities.
LinkedIn is an example of a popular professional social media platform. It is important to remember that it is a professional tool and should be used this way. Profiles on LinkedIn are very likely to be viewed by both employers and recruiters so it’s important you put together a well-thought profile and keep it up to date. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile matches up with your CV in terms of your skills, experience and qualifications, as any discrepancies could be flagged by an employer and questioned.
Your personal social media accounts are, of course, yours to post freely, however, you should always keep in mind that if your profile is not set to private then everything you post is available for anyone to see. Even if your profile is set to private, this doesn’t mean that your comments and photos cannot be seen publicly – after all, it’s not very difficult for someone in your network to take a screenshot and share this.
Whether you are sharing a post on Facebook, tweeting a joke on Twitter or posting a picture from your night out on Instagram, these are public and once on the internet are hard to take back; post thoughtfully because first impressions stick.
Blogs, vlogs and YouTube
Personal blogs and digital video content are also becoming increasingly popular, with hundreds of people turning to the platforms to voice their thoughts, share tips and circulate their content. Some people make very successful careers out of these ventures but again, as with all social media accounts, what you post online will shape your brand.
More positively, competency in social media can, depending on your chosen career path, be seen as a highly beneficial skill. When applying for a role, blogs could be used as an example of your skills and drive to be a writer while vlogs can demonstrate your influence and confidence working with video media.
Your job application extends much further than just simply the form you submit and CV you create. You will be assessed as an overall package, so be sure the brand you build reflects the way in which you want to be viewed as a professional.