Despite years as a Big Brother(BB)-free zone, this year I found myself captivated by the programme. There is a strange appeal in watching people and judging them. I guess many of you think there is little worse than watching BB, even fewer would consider being a contestant, yet how many of you allow yourself to be scrutinised by your online public? If you have signed up to Facebook, for example, you are probably being watched.
I recently heard a radio report stating most employers now search for job candidates online, reviewing what they post on social network sites.
The findings of this study are not a surprise.
I know that when recruiting I always look up the individual online to gain a bit of insight and many applicants have also researched me. Social media has become an individual’s shop window, so you need to be aware of what your profiles say.
• Check your privacy settings – we all have a private life, we just need to control who gets to see it
• Be selective when choosing your photo – I’m amazed by the number of alcohol-fuelled party shots on LinkedIn profiles
• Check your spelling and grammar
on LinkedIn updates – text talk is probably not going to give the best impression
• Think before you type – it’s great that it’s Friday and you will soon be supping on your favourite tipple, but does your professional network really need to know?
• Always be mindful that the profile you make available to the public is your shop window. This is a great opportunity to market yourself, so take advantage of it.
Continuing on the social media theme, just this week I was taking a look on LinkedIn and realised that I only tend to dip in and out of it and never explore its full potential.
It’s strange because, at first, I was so enthused about the tool that I used it to do all sorts of things – from seeking out opportunities, to growing my network, to sharing knowledge and best practice. So what’s changed?
Well it certainly isn’t the tool, which seems to offer more every time I log on. So it can only be me. I hold my hands up: I am like a child at Christmas when it comes to technology. I love it for about five minutes, get bored, stop using it and then a few months later pick it up again and go through the whole cycle once more. But I recognise that by doing this I am missing out on some real opportunities.
So how can you get the most from social media? Here are just a few great things it has to offer:
• The chance to establish and grow your professional network
• The opportunity to join various groups, including companies and industries
• All the latest industry news
• A gateway to obtain guidance and advice
• Job opportunities
☛ Nicola Bromby is head of commercial management, Heathrow Airport