Many of us find that to grow and progress in our life and work, we need to undertake personal and professional development. But what does personal or professional development actually mean? And what do you need to do to put a development plan in place? Read our guide below to find out! What is personal
In the age of Facebook statuses, Instagram selfies and Twitter rants, maintaining a clean social media presence can be harder than first thought. However, when it comes to the recruitment process, it’s essential that your online presence correctly represents your personal and professional brand. Here are a few things to check before you register with a recruitment agency and begin the job hunt:
1. Privacy is key
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram change their settings constantly, so even if you think your privacy settings are high, things could have changed.
On Facebook, the easiest way to check what other people can see is the ‘view profile as’ button – it’s hidden in the bottom right-hand corner of your cover photo.
Filter through your Instagram profile to check there aren’t any pictures that could appear compromising to an unknowing eye. If there are, and you don’t want to delete them, switch your settings to private.
Instead of scrolling through your entire Twitter feed, head to your settings to download your archive. It has a record of every single tweet you’ve sent out, meaning you can go through and delete any that you wouldn’t want your boss or colleagues to see. This includes any previous complaints or gripes about your previous companies – nothing leaves a bad taste in an employer’s mouth more than corporate criticism.
You can also make your profile private by ‘protecting your profile’. This allows you to control who is following you and hence, who can see your tweets.
2. Check your profile picture and cover photo
While you may love that shot of you with a martini in hand, it doesn’t scream professionalism. Ensure both your profile picture and cover photo don’t show you drinking alcohol or obviously drunk; lounging about in your swimmers; in a selfie, or most obviously, doing anything vulgar or offensive.
Revise your LinkedIn
By now, it’s generally understood that any HR professional or recruiter worth their salt will check a candidate’s LinkedIn whenever they apply for a role. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to make sure your profile is as current and professional as possible. Check that your profile picture is either a headshot on a plain background or a business casual shot of you in action.
Review your professional experience to make sure that all your job responsibilities, achievements and qualifications are up to date. Going forward, it’s also worth considering adding information regularly – it’s easier to do when fresh in your mind, instead of in bulk when looking for a new position.
Finally, don’t forget about the extracurriculars. It’s worth mentioning any volunteering experience and if you can speak any additional languages – they could be the elements that set you apart from other candidates when it comes to hiring time.
4. Google yourself
There’s only one sure-fire way to ensure you know exactly what an employer could find – completing the search yourself. By taking the time to filter through the first few pages of a Google search, you’ll be able to address any possible surprises before they pop up.
Finished the cleanup and now ready for the job hunt? Check out our vacancies here.