Who am I online?
In a recent post, I got to grips with the issue of blogging itself, asking how you could use this medium to find - or create - a job. Our student blogger, Emily, reflects on her own digital footprins and the trail we leave online....
Reading the blog post about blogging on May 22nd was very interesting, as a job-seeking soon-to-be graduate. Now that I’m mired in my own job search, the idea of who I am – or seem to be – online has become increasingly important. I’ve tried (and failed) many a time to set up my own blog, and while blogging isn’t for everyone, if you have a Facebook account, tweet occasionally or even just comment on The Boar articles then you’re leaving a web trail for employers that can be just as useful to them, so you need to be aware of the consequences of those throwaway comments. SU President Leo Bøe recently wrote a blog post about inappropriate jokes online – yes they’re offensive, but what if they also lose you your dream job?
We all know the basics about making sure our privacy settings on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are high so that people we don’t know don’t end up seeing our private information, but I don’t think we really take this quite seriously enough. Companies like Channel 4 spend a long time at their talent pool sessions stressing that you shouldn’t have too many Facebook pictures of you compromising yourself (if you know what I mean) – if an employer ‘googles’ you and the first image that comes up is you with a bottle in your hand, you might want to rethink.
A couple of students who had their radio show taken off them for bad language last week (which generated a Boar article about the incident) now have a link talking about their irresponsibility and bad language at the top of search engine results for their names. Not that I’m recommending that you turn into one of those people who frequently ‘googles’ themselves...
Even what you tweet about can be important. I’ve applied for nearly thirty jobs in the past month and for several of them have been asked to give links to my Twitter account and any blogs I write for – cue me going through several years of previous whinging and deleting tweets... because the internet is not just about expressing yourself anymore. It’s a massively useful resource for demonstrating your interests, your commitment to writing and who you are, or who you want to be. Building up a strong Twitter following could show your marketing, communication or persuasive writing skills and is definitely essential to breaking into radio, marketing and media generally, so if you’re serious about getting into these more elusive sectors make sure you give yourself the best advantage.
And if this doesn’t sound convincing, a friend of mine who recently got rejected from her ideal job was told that the reason was an article she had written for The Boar. Don’t let that be you.
* Emily Middleton is a third year English student and Careers and Skills rep