How to build and maintain a professional image online

Want to know how your social media profile can help you in maintaining your professional image online? Read this interesting article for more information!

Social media has become an extension of our personality and there’s hardly any millennial without a social media account. Our social media account has become an essential part of our identity- often referred to as “Online identity”. 

This trend has prompted recruiters to check the social media accounts of prospective hires to get an understanding of their general personalities. While this can work in the favour of job seekers who appear professional online, it may spell doom for those candidates whose online identity seems shabby, sloppy and unprofessional. 

We have charted out a 4-step guide to help you build and maintain a smart online professional image to impress prospective employers!

Build your own brand 

No, by the brand we don’t mean a business here. Your brand refers to your profile and how you come across as a person to others who see your online identity. This identity or brand comprises details such as status updates, pictures, check-ins, interactions, etc. 

Here are a few things you could do to build your personal brand: 

  • Put a dignified hi-res profile picture where your face reflects a sense of authority, confidence, and smartness. 
  • Avoid uploading a messy, lazy, too casual photo as your display photo
  • Write a concise  'Bio' highlighting your strengths (add a dash of humour to grab attention)
  • Update your profile regularly, especially in terms of location, place of work, certifications/degrees, activities and events, and interests
  • Engage in creative content and posts related to your areas of interest and expertise, such as blogs, articles, online workshops, presentations as these are some strong indicators of your interest and skills as a coveted candidate

Change your privacy settings

2. Change your privacy settings- blog
Check who can view your content

Do not mix your work and personal life. Most of the time we cannot control our online footprints, but there are privacy settings in every social media platform that allows you to restrict your audience and control who sees what as part of your social media posts! For example, a personal photo album meant for your friends and family should not be accessible to strangers and the general public online. If your post is meant exclusively for friends and family, set your privacy settings accordingly.

  • Check the privacy settings to know which content is available for which type of viewers. 
  • You can also categorize your viewers if this option is available on the social media platform. 
  • Check the viewers on your posts regularly to keep an eye on any unidentified viewer who shouldn’t be there on your list. 
  • Make your achievements, education and basic information (gender, birth date, location) visible to everyone, so that the recruiters can also verify this information quickly.   
  • Steer clear of posts that are too personal or revealing in nature, or may even be considered illegal in some way! 

3. Do not post offensive or negative content

Remember that your online behaviour reflects your personality and thus, recruiters can form an impression about you based on your online activities such as commenting, liking, sharing, pages you follow etc. 

  • Follow the pages and people who are related to your career field and help you to learn something useful. 
  • Have an opinion but do not get carried away with objectionable remarks and comments.
  • Use smart witty language for your posts and comments and DO NOT use expletives and profanities or a brash tone of voice in your online interactions. 

4. Avoid posting anything during working hours 

4. Avoid posting anything during working hours - blog

The timing of your posts can be seen without much ado and therefore, it is quite easy for HRs to figure out if you are indulging in social media browsing during your work hours. Posting or engaging on social media during office hours leads to the impression that you are misusing your working time instead of actually working on things that may require your attention. It makes you look unprofessional and may create doubt about your suitability for a job in the minds of your prospective employers.

A powerful and effective way to improve your online identity as a coveted professional is to increase your professional network and engage with work communities online. The easiest place to get started is the apna app where you can find various professional community groups, interact with the professionals in your field of interest, and find career guidance too - ALL FOR FREE. Additionally, you can search for new jobs in over 70 categories in 14 cities across India. 

Join apna app for comprehensive career development to strengthen your future!

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