According to a recent study, 91% of employers include social networking sites in their background checks for job candidates. Last week I wrote a post focusing on how your digital past on social media sites might come back to haunt you. This week, I'd like to expand upon your social media reputation but focus instead on how you can use it to help your online reputation. There's been a lot of buzz in social news lately about the new Facebook Timeline Profile (launch currently delayed until this coming Thursday) and how the new look can be used for business branding. Those who aren't talking about business branding are sharing photos of how early adopters of the new profile are taking advantage of the new design elements to get creative and make a stand-out profile!
Even if you have your privacy settings on high and only accepted friends/connections can see your posts and information, there are some profile details that are public to everyone on just about any social networking site -- Your name and your profile picture. In the case of Facebook, the new 'cover picture' at the top of the profile will be visible to everyone too. So if a potential employer can look you up by name, they are also going to see that picture. Why not have some fun with it and show a little personality? Impress employers with your out-of-the-box thinking and personal expression. You don't have to be an 'artiste' to make something cool nor do you need a 'designer eye' to be expressive. You can show a little creativity just by incorporating a favorite activity like snowboarding or soccer or whatever that passion may be. It's more fun and interesting than just a photo of you from your shoulders up with a polite smile on your face (although I'm sure you look lovely). But, also, it is a social profile... don't you want it to be fun and interesting anyway?
Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer
firstname.lastname@example.org | @katie_hazard