Having a strong online profile can be a great addition to your CV. Not only does it give you the chance to show off your skills and achievements, but it can also give prospective employers a chance to see what kind of person you are and give a valuable insight into your character.
However, the wrong kind of impression can easily be given too, as for most of us our online social presence is somewhere that we can chat with friends and act in a much more informal way than we would at work.
For graduates this can present a problem as online interactions can be such a big part of college or university life and can also create a long-lasting trail that is easy to follow back over the years. This means that possible employers might pick up on things that give them the wrong impression of the person you really are.
The online world is for many of us what photograph albums were for parents and grandparents. Part of the fun in sharing selfies is their whole spur-of-the-moment nature, but sometimes that might come back to haunt you just when you need it least.
One or two worse for wear pics from a few years ago isn't likely to make an employer think you have a drinking problem, but a whole run of you and your friends in full-on party mode might be enough to cause concern.
The best thing to do is take some positive action. You can start by making sure that privacy setting on Facebook profiles are activated and that only friends can see what you post. A quick trawl through your own history might surprise even you, and a little deletion housekeeping might be in order.
While it's always a good idea to keep personal profiles to your circle of friends, having a public presence that promotes a professional image is easy to set up and maintain. LinkedIn is the industry standard platform and using it in the right way can even lead directly to potential job contacts and opportunities.
Like most things in life, using common sense can be all that’s needed in order to clean up an online profile ahead of a job search. If you wouldn’t be happy with your parents seeing a certain pic or reading a post, then you can be sure that it’s not something a prospective employer should see either.
If you’re a graduate and you want to ensure you’re making the most of the opportunities that might be available to you, have an informal chat with Discovery Graduates and see how they can help you
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