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newtimes - 12 days ago

Career growth: Why your online presence matters

The current trends with social media have set it crucial to have an active and engaging online presence. For anyone who is working towards progress in their career, it’s important to give their brand an ideal online reputation where potential employers can access the desired narrative of they are as an employee. It’s recommended to leverage LinkedIn to capture the attention of employers who are hiring. When people are checking you out in a professional capacity, they might skip Google and go directly to LinkedIn. After all, it’s the place where professionals tell their stories. “Making the first digital impression centres on knowing your audience overall,” says Arlette Uwase a student at African Leadership University. She says elements like attention span, interests, and preferred platform are very essential. Once you have gathered all this information, you then work on a storyline that addresses them plus, considering the said information to be in alignment with your brand’s message or values. LinkedIn is well supplied with profile features where you can introduce yourself and tell your story in a rich and engaging way. The three elements of your profile that are key to producing a fascinating first impression are your headline, headshot and about. Your “about” is the part that can show whether you are both credible and likeable. For most professionals, it will be the most influential version of their biography. It is often said that people make a first impression within a few seconds, this is the same story in-person and online. More than ever people will Google you, visit your social media accounts and do an online audit to help form an impression of who you are, and this is why your online impression matters for it can make or break you, depending on what you present to the world, according to Jean de Dieu Tuyishime, programmes coordinator at BAG Innovation, a gamified digital platform that collaborates with universities and employers in East Africa to offer real-time access to experience-based learning. “Think of your online presence as a form of a personal brand. Whether you consciously control it or not, you are sharing an image with the world. It’s much better to be in charge of what people see about you rather than leave it to chance,” he says. Writer Lynn Atanasoff notes that no matter how many social networks you belong to and how much experience you post on your profiles, you will lose many opportunities if the material you post online is inappropriate.  Many times, employers will check the social media profiles of potential employees as a way to judge their character. If you’re posting complaints about how much you dislike your current position, a recruiter may think you’ll do the same thing once you work for their company, too. Once you do have a solid online presence, it’s important to keep your reputation positive at all times. The writer recommends performing an online search of your name often to see what comes up. If you don’t like what you find, then start to make the changes necessary on your social media sites. Consider setting up alerts to notify you when anything about you is posted online. Always scan your photos, posts, and conversations that you have with people on every social media platform to make sure the right messages are being sent about your character. If you ever doubt anything, delete it or un-tag yourself.


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