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Can you afford to be googled?

It's safe to assume that a potential employer will look at all your social media profiles before you arrive to your initial interview. For that reason, you should make sure that you can afford to be googled.

Image by Robin Worrall

Start by googling yourself, and be ready to give your online presence a tune-up. Clean up the results. For example, you might need to remove tags that friends have added to photos from holidays and parties. We recommend that you set your privacy settings on Facebook so that a potential employer or colleague won't base their impression of you off of comments your "interesting" uncle has written about you.

Take a critical look at other profiles, too, like Instagram. Should they be completely private, or should you change your settings depending on the kinds of things you share?

You don't need to take drastic actions like deleting all of your accounts just because you think it would be best to stay off the radar. Consider whether the content you make publicly accessible supports who you are as a professional. If you aren't sure, ask yourself if the content is something you would talk about over lunch with future colleagues. You can also ask friends and family for advice.

If you love music (and have maybe mentioned that in your CV), a photo from the opening concert at NorthSide makes sense. But be sure that your friends are the only ones who can see you playing beer pong at the Roskilde Festival.

New email address?

While you're taking a fresh look at the digital you, consider whether you might need a new email address. Something a bit more professional than "hulk007" or "babybear".

Do something with your LinkedIn

By the end of your first year at uni, you should have a LinkedIn profile. At that point, you've had your first academic experiences and are maybe ready to start looking for a relevant student job. You can construct your own profile from various elements on LinkedIn. For example, you can use the Update feature to show what you're capable of and expand your network.

LinkedIn is a social media platform for being professional, expanding your career, and finding jobs. It's a place for you to tell others about yourself and your skills.

Think of it as a short, professional introduction where you want to sell yourself as best and as quickly as you can. Find some role models, like other students from the same course of study as you. See what keywords they use to describe themselves, so you can have the right professional tone from the beginning. Also, remember to update your profile regularly.

Follow up

Just because you have a good LinkedIn profile and have thought out your social media strategy doesn't mean that success will come to you on its own. You have to be patient. Most likely, you'll encounter more than one closed door. The strategy is to follow up, follow up, and follow up some more.

Tips

  • Your profile picture on LinkedIn should show the version of you that goes to work (not the one that goes to parties)
  • Edit your LinkedIn profile when it's relevant (but don't forget about it)
  • Notify your network when something new happens with you (but only important things, so you don't spam everyone)
  • Always thank people when they help you (it'll pay for itself in good time)
  • Set your privacy settings on (e.g.) Facebook

Get off to a good start with LinkedIn

MA regularly holds a workshop entitled "Get off to a good start with LinkedIn" for those who are new to LinkedIn.There, you'll be introduced to the best ways to work with LinkedIn as you search for a job.

Read more and sign up