Make an online profile to get you hired, not fired

How to promote your skills and hide your ills

Publishing platforms like Wordpress can also be augmented with social-networking plug-ins that display your information, and this can be useful if you want to incorporate more than simple links to other social networking sites. A Twitter plug-in will enable users to see what you're twittering without visiting the site itself, and Flickr slideshows can bring your snaps to a wider audience than your usual Flickr crowd. Even listing some of the Amazon book reviews that you've written will go some way to depicting who you really are.

Harnessing the net

Despite what a hundred social networking horror stories may have you believe, you've got to be exceptionally careless to allow any content posted online to affect your career or social prospects. The skill is in finding an online work-life balance and successfully deciding how much of either side you should reveal.

There's no right answer; the balance depends heavily on your social status, your line of work and the beliefs of your peers. Your boss may have absolutely no issues with you mixing Friday night with Monday morning – he might even feature in the photos. You might even choose to make your entire Facebook profile visible to the public in order to make full use of Google's crawling power.

What is concrete, however, is the necessity that you exist online in some form and that you protect the reputation that you already have – whether this means making sure that your boss can't view last night's drunken photos or filtering your stated interests to present a more rounded image of yourself. Employers may still ask for a traditional CV, but you can bet that the information gathering won't stop there.

The ultimate goal is to reach a stage where so much quantifiably positive information exists online that the paper CV becomes redundant. And with more and more HR departments accepting sites such as LinkedIn as valuable employment resources, it's a wholly tangible objective.

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First published in PC Plus, Issue 277

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