Your presence online can have a significant impact on your professional reputation. Therefore, if you learn how to create effective professional online profiles, you can cultivate a positive personal reputation online which serves your best interests professionally.
Figures quoted by Michael Page, a UK-based recruitment firm, show that 77% of employers use social media to find candidates for jobs, while 69% have rejected candidates based on their social media activity. This suggests that employers are increasingly looking at social media profiles to find and screen job applicants.
This research indicates that these profiles can allow you to network online with different employers and industry influencers, giving you the means to advance your career by controlling how they perceive you professionally. Below, we share some tips on how you can create effective professional online profiles.
Choose your platform carefully
It’s important you establish your professional online profiles on the most suitable platforms. For example, Facebook isn’t necessarily appropriate for you if you operate in the corporate world.
Professional social media site LinkedIn would be a more beneficial platform for your online profile in this circumstance but Facebook would perhaps be more suitable if you need to develop a less corporate image in order to succeed in your field.
Be industry specific
Obviously, it’s useful to launch professional profiles on widely-used social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. However, we’d also advise you to create profiles on industry specific social media platforms e.g. Doximity, a social networking site for US physicians and join industry specific groups on sites like LinkedIn.
This will allow you to target your online profile at your peers, allowing you to develop a reputation as a thought-leader in your field.
Look at thought-leaders
Speaking of thought-leaders, you might want to look at their online profiles to create your own, so you can learn how to do it effectively. Look at which sites they’ve chosen to post their profiles on, in order to determine which platforms you should be utilising to construct a positive professional reputation online.
Also, read what these thought-leaders say about themselves to inform what you need to include in your own online professional profiles.
Focus on content
Don’t just create an online professional profile and leave it bereft of content; focus on making your profile the best it can possibly be.
Create effective copy which details your expertise as a professional in your field and distribute it across your various social media profiles, so you can present yourself in the best light to peers in your field. Ensure the substance and style of your content is consistent across all platforms, in order to create a cohesive message.
Choose the right picture
The picture you use for your profile is really important. Use an image which makes you look professional, yet friendly.
If you use informal snaps such as one from your social life, you could appear unprofessional. This could damage your standing with your peers, who may not take you seriously as a professional or might not even bother reading your profile.
Link them up
It’s also a good idea to link to other profiles within one of your social media accounts. First, this’ll allow others in your industry to cultivate a deeper understanding of your professional reputation.
It’ll also help your profiles rank on the first name of a search for your name on Google. People often don’t click onto the second page of a search, so it’s important for your online profiles to rank on the first page of a Google search for your name to ensure they can effectively communicate your professional reputation.
Safeguard your privacy
If you’re not careful, your online profiles can damage your professional reputation. For instance, if you post content on Facebook which proves controversial, it could make you look unprofessional in the eyes of your peers.
Refrain from using purely personal online profiles for professional purposes and utilise the privacy settings on these platforms to ensure that your online profiles portray you in a professional light.
Maintain your profile
An online professional profile shouldn’t be static. By updating your profiles with your latest achievements, you show others that you continue to enhance your reputation as a professional in your field all the time.
Google likes fresh content so by updating content on your online profiles, you’ll help them to rank on the first page of a Google search for your name.
Enhance your reputation
In this increasingly digitised world, you can’t afford to have a negative online presence. If you don’t control the conversation concerning your professional image online, others may do it for you and damage the way you’re viewed professionally online.
However, if you take a measured approach and build strong profiles on social media sites, you can take control of the way you’re portrayed to ensure that you develop a positive reputation online.