Networking is a crucial aspect for both our professional and social lives, especially during a global pandemic. And whilst technology allows us to connect with ease, it does require a degree of responsibility and careful consideration.
There have been numerous cases of individuals losing their jobs and even being taken into custody due to their online content.
When it comes to your online presence, the control is in your hands. To ensure you have what you need to build your social network creatively and carefully, I have curated my top tips for staying professional online.
Establish your audience and adjust your privacy settings accordingly
A professional online presence does not necessitate a professional online profile. It entails consideration as to how your online presence can impact your professional wellbeing.
Strict privacy settings are ideal if you only intend to network with friends and family. However, opening your profile to the public can be beneficial for career opportunities as employers now utilise social media platforms when recruiting for job vacancies.
I like to keep my personal and professional life entirely separate on social media and have independent Instagram accounts where I can curate content for the intended audience. That being said, even my personal account is carefully considered and only contains content that I would be happy for a future employer to scroll through.
Limit your posts during working hours
Online engagement should be limited during work or university hours to refrain from inappropriate technology use in the workplace.
During working hours, I will turn off my phone and even place it in a different room to ensure that I am not tempted by social media notifications.
Be creative and build your own brand
Recruiters are exponentially utilising the internet to look for information that supports qualifications. Building your online presence with intention can be a great way to portray qualities that differentiate you from the competition.
I am a huge believer in living a sustainable lifestyle and actively promote my love of thrifting on my personal Instagram account. By posting images of new outfit compilations created entirely from pre-loved clothing, I hope to inspire others to ditch the fast fashion craze.
Take the time to think before you post
It’s very easy to be reactive on social media and let your emotions dictate the content of a post. Whilst I am a big advocate of online honesty, without proper thought, you could end up posting something which you later regret.
I try to be open and honest on my social media platforms and blogging sites, by expressing my views on the latest headlines and controversies. However, I will always adopt a diplomatic approach to ensure that no one feels personally attacked or ostracised.
Check your spelling and grammar
The delivery of your content is just as important as the content itself, especially with regards to spelling and grammar. Correct grammar is often an expectation for most professionals, as it demonstrates an individual’s attention to detail and their communication skills.
I will always take the time to double check my content before publishing; a small task that will go a long way.
Have fun with social media but stay professional
Social media is a great outlet to authentically express yourself and connect with others, but always remember to be mindful about what you are posting. Fundamentally, it is important to enjoy the online world in a way that is conducive to both your personal and professional life.