We now live in a digital age in which everything appears to be moving online. One thing that certainly has moved online is employment, where we are seeing less focus on CV’s and more focus on digital profiles. Ever wondered if your employee has looked you up?

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As you can see, it’s very rare for an employer not to scan your social media platforms before being hired. The main thing in which employers are checking for is professionalism, they do not want yourself or anyone else giving their company a bad reputation. Here are some examples of people getting fired because of inappropriate posts.

This is exactly why you need to be consciously aware of the digital footprints you leave behind.

“Professionalism is important for people who wish to advance in their career”

One way to keep your online identity professional is by ensuring that you have profile pictures on all accounts. Having no picture at all will look boring; it will imply to employers that your page is abandoned (Holland, 2014). Additionally, having any embarrassing selfies, cartoons or jokey pictures may be funny to you, but will not be smiled at by a potential employer.

Another way to keep professional is by watching what you put in your biographies on sites such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (Holland, 2014). If you are applying for a teaching role but your Insta’ account claims you are a ‘Singer, Actor, Dancer’ then it might affect your professional persona and the chances of you getting a job.

When possible, you should try and keep all of your usernames the same so that it is easier for people to find you. It also looks more professional this way if you are promoting your accounts. I personally struggle with usernames as I share the same name with the lead singer from Arctic Monkeys and because of the sheer volume of “Alex Turner’s” in the world.

arctic.pngI attempted to get the exact number of Alex Turner’s to show how hard it is for myself to acquire a consistent username but again just Arctic Monkey references… Good luck to any employer attempting my background check.

Can blogging help?

Interestingly enough, if you want to look professional online and if you want to increase your chances of being employed, blogs are a great way to improve your online persona for a number of different reasons.

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Having a professional identity is absolutely essential for today’s era, you should start using social media platforms as an advantage in employment, rather than it preventing you from getting your dream job.

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References –

Brooks, C. (2016). Social Screening: What Hiring Managers Look for On Social Media. [online] Business News Daily. Available at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2377-social-media-hiring.html [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Holland, M. (2014). Six tips for managing your professional online profile. [online] CILIP. Available at: https://www.cilip.org.uk/blog/six-tips-managing-your-professional-online-profile [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Morrison, K. (2015). Survey: 92% of Recruiters Use Social Media to Find High-Quality Candidates. [online] Adweek.com. Available at: http://www.adweek.com/digital/survey-96-of-recruiters-use-social-media-to-find-high-quality-candidates/ [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Prnewswire.com. (2016). Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates Has Increased 500 Percent over the Last Decade. [online] Available at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/number-of-employers-using-social-media-to-screen-candidates-has-increased-500-percent-over-the-last-decade-300258537.html [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Parris, J. (2017). Why You Should Blog to Get Your Next Job. [online] Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2013/06/01/blog-job/#9xk1Sy_MlZqp [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Reference. (2017). Why is professionalism important?. [online] Available at: https://www.reference.com/business-finance/professionalism-important-74e4e9b33665224f [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

TheTalko, (2016). 10 INSANE Social Media Posts That Got People FIRED. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBRZ-lF3t6s [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].