Wed | May 24, 2017

Why does your online branding matter

Published:Sunday | April 16, 2017 | 4:00 AMSaudicka Diaram

This is a typical scenario: a candidate shows up for a job interview, professionally attired and displaying all the professional deportment necessary for securing the job, but interviewers become distracted when attention is drawn to the candidate's colourful and boisterous social media footprints. This candidate will now have to defend his online image to a panel of the potential employer. Things can get awkward. Don't let this be you.

These are scenarios that are now commonplace in the recruitment process, especially among those who have not made the connection between their online activities and their professional endeavours. Recruiters are now doing thorough social media sweeps before inviting individuals for an interview. Social media has now become a part of your personality, a visual map into one's character, maturity, and even intellectual capacity.

Even if you are applying for the position of social media officer, a raunchy online persona will not help. Some may ask why their social activities should have any impact on their professional life. The reality is, it does, so keep it acceptable. You can still have fun on social media, but try to balance what you put out. If you have to think twice about posting it, chances are it doesn't belong on social media.

Years ago, this would not have mattered, however, we are part of the digital revolution. We must decide if all the new platforms being introduced will be used for our development or destruction. This is where we spend most of our time. We eat, sleep, date, work, and socialise with our mobile phones. This device has transformed our lives in every way possible. As a result, employers are doing their due diligence, and in this process gathering information indirectly through what users are providing. Ask yourselves: What is my profile saying about me?

Reposition

There is an electronic database about your life based on your social media activities, but it's not too late to start repositioning yourself on social media.

Ensure that your posts are consistent across all platforms, especially on LinkedIn, where recruiters spend time and resources to find qualified individuals.

Your profile should position you for your dream job. It is important that you use the language of your industry. For instance, when you are posting, think about the likelihood of being noticed by a potential employer. LinkedIn is easily the number-one rated professional platform that generates information about one's career history and desires.

It is not by chance that recruiters now ask that you upload your documents instead of a physical delivery. They know that this is where most millennials spend most of their time.

Be concise with your language. Target the industries of which you want to be part. Use the necessary hashtags. This will generate the interest of followers who might just be looking for your skill sets.

As you acquire new skills, constantly upgrade and reorganise your information to reflect your growth. Social media is now a business. It has somewhat created a global networking community, therefore, learning the principles and strategies to advance yourself into the professional world is critical. Start the transition now from being a student into becoming an expert on your personal brand.