How to Overhaul Brand You
Cosmopolitan India|July 2020
How to Overhaul Brand You
Potential employers are snooping around your social media. Terrifying? It doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to prime your platform to perfection.
Dusty Baxter-Wright

At the risk of stating the obvious, we’ve never been easier to find online. From Instagram and Twitter to Facebook, LinkedIn, and more, a quick Google of your name will bring up hundreds of results. Which is great if you’re waiting for a long-lost summer romance to get in touch. But if you’re hoping to land your next career opportunity, the way you come across online *could* be holding you back (hello, those pictures from Ibiza, 2012!).

A 2017 study conducted on behalf of recruitment firm, CareerBuilder, says 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. So having an Internet presence that’s in line with where you’re hoping to go professionally is key. “Social media can be a powerful tool for career development when used in the right way,” Charlotte Davies, a careers expert at LinkedIn, explains. “But it’s important to be mindful about what you’re posting and where; we all like sharing personal content, but is it appropriate and on the right channel?”

While we’re never ones to shy away from a #HumbleBrag holiday post (only as a #Throwback these days, though, sadly), there are ways to make your Internet presence work in your professional favour. Here’s how...

Do a Digital Audit

Let’s be honest: your prospective employer has probably trawled your social-media platforms and gained an impression of you before you’ve even met them. It’s imperative to make sure you’re happy with what they—or anyone else, for that matter— are going to see. “Of course recruiters do some digging,” says Alexandra Lewington, from UK-based recruitment company, Reuben Sinclair. “Google and LinkedIn are the main platforms we look at, but for PR and marketing roles, Twitter is also key for seeing how a candidate articulates themselves. If you’re looking for a role in communications, we want to know you can communicate!”

You don’t want anything out there that might hinder the application process and feel inappropriate—especially in a more corporate industry. “Your Saturday night shouldn’t be rolling into your Monday morning,” Charlotte advises. “Your Internet presence should be a reflection of your most authentic workplace self.” Which, probably, isn’t the same as the 3 am you, chin-deep in cheesy chips.

“The best way to see what’s out there is to Google your own name on an incognito browser and see what comes up,” Alexandra continues. Make note of the things you’re happy to see—an engaging blog entry or active LinkedIn page—and the things that need to change.

Clean Up Your Act

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July 2020