Use your online identity to your advantage

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Today is national internet safety awareness day. And while the focus of this is primarily aimed at raising awareness of protecting your identity online, and remaining secure, it’s also important to reflect on what can be found out about you on the web.

Today’s digital landscape is more complex than ever before. It is re-shaping the way we work, consumer behaviour, the delivery of services, the potential for generating income and how we communicate with each other. Many people live much of their lives on-line - shopping, working, socialising, dating, making travel plans and entertaining themselves.

There are over three billion internet users globally – almost half the world’s population. If this was a national economy in its own right, the internet would be the fifth largest in the world.

As well as being aware of how to use social media safely to chat with friends, keep in touch and up-to-speed with events, it’s also important to know how digital media can help with your job searching.

Increasingly employers are turning to social media to find out more about job applicants. A picture can speak a thousand words. So if you’re applying for a job, what do your Facebook pages and Twitter accounts say about you to a potential employer? While it’s great to share your life experiences with your friends, it’s important to think about who exactly you want viewing your life in full Technicolor.

Your online presence can, however, be used to your advantage. If you’ve got a CV why not use it to create a LinkedIn profile? This is a good way to share your experience with recruiters, but it’s also helpful for building networks and communicating with like-minded people with whom you can share ideas and learn from. Write a blog that shows you’re interested in a given subject or follow and ‘like’ employers that you’re keen to work for. It shows that you’re interested.

Our careers advisers use social media to engage with their customers who are looking for jobs. They too advise job seekers to use online platforms wisely to increase their chances of finding work.

Our advice to anyone applying for job, college, an apprenticeship or even university is, consider what you share online that could jeopardise your chances of progressing your career. It’s simply not worth it.

Find out how we can help you increase your chances of getting your next job.