What does your Virtual Footprint say about you?

Whether you’re a true social media aficionado, or only use a select few platforms, the way you portray yourself online can have a bigger impact than you might think! Every video you upload, photo that you ‘like’ or message you post builds up a picture of who you are; a picture that employers could easily access when they’re seeking to understand more about a potential employee. But fear not, getting social savvy is easy if you know the pitfalls to avoid, and we’ve put together some top tips to ensure your virtual footprint stands out for all the right reasons.

Review your privacy

Think about who really wants, or needs, to see any content you upload. You may want to make your posts only visible to your ‘friends’ so you can be safe in the knowledge of who is viewing your updates. Some sites offer the opportunity to customise privacy settings, so always check these settings and make them work for you. However, don’t feel that you need to hide absolutely everything; having an active online presence does have plenty of advantages and gives you the opportunity to further emphasise your skills, talents and interests. The key is to choose the right content for the right audience!

Rethink your associations

Consider who you’re connecting with. Only ‘like’ or associate with posts that you would be comfortable with others attributing to you, and be mindful about who you follow. It is great to be part of the online sharing world, but it is so important to think of the potential consequences of your associations. Social media can be a great way to share your work and your passions but think carefully about how others’ posts reflect on you and keep it relevant and appropriate.

Refresh your presence

Keep your profiles up to date and professional. Remember that, as well as giving people a picture of your past, your social media accounts will be taken as an accurate representation of who you are now, so it’s important to keep things fresh if you want to impress potential employers with your latest skills and achievements. An out-of-date account will do just the opposite and, worse still, could be viewed by potential employers as an indication of laziness or lack of attention to detail. So if you don’t want to commit yourself to continuously updating an account, consider carefully whether you really need to keep it active – closing it down might be the wiser option.

Remember your responsibility

Think first, post later! One of the greatest advantages of social media is how quickly you can get a message out there but remember that once you click that ‘send’ button your posts can’t always be retrieved. Always ask yourself if you’re happy for this post/image to be viewed indeterminately by a wider (global) audience who may interpret it differently to the way it was intended either now or in the future. Get into the habit of thinking twice before posting and applying the future proof challenge – today’s acceptable may be tomorrow’s unthinkable, so set high expectations for yourself and stick to them.

Social media can be a fantastic form of self-promotion and can have brilliant benefits if used effectively. Always seek advice if you are unsure about how or what to post, and remember, if in doubt, leave it out! At Better Jobs, Better Futures we offer a range of employability support and advice. Contact us today to see how we can help you: 01792 284450.