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May 18, 2022, by Leah Sharpe

Your Best Digital Self

By Simon and Rob, Co-founders of The Jolt

Take it from us, two alumni who offer candid career insight via The Jolt; we never had to worry about social media for job hunting when we left Nottingham in 1991. The closest we got to social media was the noticeboard in the Portland Building.

That didn’t stop us from deploying a two-word mantra that still carries its weight in career gold today: Everything Communicates.

Outside of face-to-face meetings, social media is now the most powerful way of finding job opportunities, networking with others and communicating what type of potential employee or business partner you are.

Which means two things:

1. 91% of UK recruiters now use social media for job opportunities

2. 91% of recruiters are also online googling you right now

Everything we do online is discoverable. Every key stroke, email, post, image and comment we ever make. The key is to balance who you are in private, with your professional face.

To keep this balance in check, here’s The Jolt Guide to Handling Your Digital Career Footprint.

1. The golden rule

Always post as if anything you put online will ultimately be sent to your Mum. Posting on a private chat? Someone could screenshot it. The photo of you naked in a wheelie bin on Lenton Boulevard? On the desk of a recruiter.

2. Brand image

You might not like it, but you are your image. Get a great headshot. Not cropped with half your Auntie’s arm on your shoulder. Make sure your photo and title are consistent across ALL of your social media platforms. This is your personal brand.

3. LinkedIn

Create a profile. Get your biography up to date; it’s the first thing recruiters look at. Keep it tight, factual and information based. You might not have a ton of experience yet, but you can supplement this by writing articles and sharing informative posts. Facebook and Twitter are increasingly being used by recruiters too, which means rules one and two really do count.

4. Network and engage

Join online groups and networks for industries that you are interested in. It’ll give you a sense of the challenges and opportunities they face. Actively contribute. Ask questions. Get to know people – introduce yourself! Check out events that are happening and attend them. Over time, this is how you build a strong network and your digital brand.

5. Video conferencing

Turn your camera ON during calls – always be visually present. It sends a bad signal if you don’t, like wearing sunglasses inside. Get a good headshot for the moments when your camera is off. Mute your mic when not talking. Talk slower. Show up appropriately dressed. And please remove your collection of demonic porcelain cats from the wall.

6. Offline and online is the same thing

Finally, whether we like it or not, what you say, how you say it and why, is increasingly under the spotlight. Don’t think that offline means off-the-cuff, or being online means you can hide behind a persona. Everything communicates! No matter what the forum.

Which is why we end with where we started. With Mum. If you can say it or show it in front of her and she’s proud, you’re good. Mum always knows best.

Visit the Careers LinkedIn and Online Presence webpages for further resources. 

Posted in Careers AdviceUncategorized