Using social media to boost your career and online reputation

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By Roz Sheldon, Managing Partner at Igniyte

The online world can provide a great way to get yourself out there and is, increasingly, a strong asset for highlighting your achievements, experience and career goals.

Used tactfully, social media can be used to communicate projects you’ve worked on (both personally and professionally) and to also showcase your skills and talents. At the same time however, it can easily reveal details you may wish to keep hidden. This article gives a crash course in what to, and what not to do online to boost your profile while navigating the personal and professional landscapes.

Managing personal platforms

Starting with the personal, social media can provide a more intimate space which highlights our likes and interests and our relationships with friends and family. Though it’s great to share this with those closest to us, it’s also important to be aware that much of this can also be accessed too by anyone who Googles your name.

Think about your Facebook page. Most likely, it’s a hub of memories, photos and posts you’ve shared and commented on which really relate to you – which is fine! However, you may not want the Internet at large to see this, so it’s important to maintain your privacy settings to ensure that the wrong people – and potential employers – don’t see something which could hinder you professionally.

Likewise, Twitter is an outlet for anyone, anywhere, to voice their opinions and discuss various topics with others. If you have a public profile, anyone is able to read your tweets, what you’re retweeting and what you’re saying to other people. Bear in mind that, like Facebook and most other social media platforms, unless it is set to private, it’s open to the world to discover and you can absolutely expect prospective employers and clients to Google your name, possibly before they make initial contact with you. Because of this, it’s important to consider content before posting or sharing it on social platforms, to ensure nothing unfortunate comes back to haunt you.

Maximising professional tools

As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is a major asset and will almost certainly be reviewed by potential employers who are considering working with you.

In comparison to most other media platforms, LinkedIn is in a league of its own for creating a professional environment which you can use to share your experience, learn from others and build a network of contacts.

Below are top-line tips for reviewing and improving your LinkedIn profile:

  • Create an account! – If you don’t already, creating a linked in profile is a great way to give yourself some professionally visibility online. If someone Googles you, this is very likely to be one of the first search results and is expected across many industries.
  • Work your photos – not only will a photo increase chances of your profile being viewed (and lost acquaintances recognising you) it gives you an opportunity to show off a professional image very different to those of other social media platforms. Beyond a profile picture, you can add further images and videos across your profile and ensure you really stick out.
  • Go in depth – LinkedIn is your online CV which can include, and link to, a multitude of projects you’ve worked on throughout your career. This is the perfect platform to share your professional achievements. Have a portfolio to shout about? Upload it to your profile via SlideShare, LinkedIn’s own presentational platform, to boost key achievements and areas of expertise.
  • Tailor your headline – this is the first thing people will see when reviewing your profile. Concentrate on making yourself stand out, rather than just citing your job title. ‘Expert marketing and brand guru specialising in global campaign strategy’ certainly sticks out more than ‘marketing manager’ and adds in some keywords that potential clients and employers may be looking for.
  • Get involved – joining groups which are relevant to your industry are a great way to find out what thought leaders in your field are saying, providing an invaluable fountain of knowledge and ideas.
  • Share and share alike – a great way to raise your profile is to ensure it’s updated regularly. Don’t be afraid to share blogs you’re interested in or comments you agree with. Likewise, be confident in commenting on things that interest you and offer a platform for your professional opinion.
  • Recommend (and get recommended) – a great feature of LinkedIn is the ability to recommend people who you’ve worked with and know to be excellent. Once highlighting the skills and expertise of someone, let them know and ask if they’ll do the same for you.

Likewise with endorsements. If you endorse someone for their skills, you’re much more likely to get people endorsing you back, therefore strengthening your profile further.

There are infinite guides to LinkedIn available (and we like this infographic as a starter). Ultimately building and maintaining a professional image is key to, not only boosting your online reputation, but raising your professional profile as an accomplished and successful business woman.

Roz-BWAbout Roz Sheldon

As joint Managing Partner of Igniyte, Roz has over ten years’ experience in digital media and marketing in both London and Leeds where she has worked with Unilever, GSK, BBC, and Home Retail Group.

Roz holds web design and web development skills and is well versed in the digital industry, using her experience to successfully manage creative and complex online experiences for high profile brands.

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