Whether youâ€™re job hunting, career ladder climbing, or simply trying to stay afloat in your current job, you need to know how your online profiles reflect upon you as an employee. One bad entry or mis-tagged photo can get you in a world of trouble on the job front or, even worse, keep you from getting a job in the first place.
Here are a few things your online presence may be saying about you whether you know it or not.
Youâ€™re looking for a new jobâ€¦
This may be a good thing or a bad thing! If you choose to use the internet to advertise youâ€™re looking for a new position (which is not a bad idea!) you have to be aware your current company can and will eventually find out. Likewise, if youâ€™re unemployed and looking for work and constantly posting status updates about jobs or reaching out to others openly, you may be sending a great signal that youâ€™re proactive and available.
The safe strategy is to network quietly using personal messages or completely hidden profiles online.
Youâ€™re totally unprofessionalâ€¦
Itâ€™s important to remember that although your online persona seems a world away from work, your job may not feel the same way. Plenty of people have been fired for outrageous statements, photos, or associations theyâ€™ve made online and whether itâ€™s fair or not, you should be as professional online (chatting, via email, and on social media) as you would in the office. This is particularly true if youâ€™re looking for a new job because you better believe someone in HR will look you up!
Youâ€™re out of the loopâ€¦
Unfortunately, itâ€™s no longer acceptable to â€˜opt outâ€™ of social media if youâ€™re trying to move up or break into the business world. Not having any social presence at all seems suspicious, like youâ€™re trying to hide something, and not being in the right places for your target industry says you donâ€™t â€œget itâ€. At the bare minimum, you should have a LinkedIn profile and maybe one other social media presence that will prove youâ€™re functional, social, and up with the times.
Youâ€™re not right for the jobâ€¦
Your online profile paints a picture of who you are as a person and it can easily make it clear that youâ€™re not who you say you are in an interview or progress meeting. For example, if you say youâ€™re dedicated to working long hours and youâ€™re constantly Tweeting about the TV shows you watch each night, you could be shooting yourself in the foot. Likewise, if you bill yourself as a marketing expert and barely have any social contacts, you may invite doubt as to your capabilities.
As tempting as it may be, you canâ€™t ignore the impact your online profile(s) have on your career. The good news is, you have some control! The more effort you put into crafting a specific, honest online personality, the more it will pay off in the long run!
Ryan Currie is a product manager at BizShark.com with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.