The Best Ways To Improve Your Digital Profile
More employers and recruiters are turning to social media to find the best talent. Even if you are not actively looking for a job, others are still taking note of your digital footprints. What is the state of your digital footprint?
What is a digital footprint?
Your digital footprint is the trail of data you leave behind while using the internet. It includes all the things you post, follow, join or visit online. Your digital footprint can have a lasting impression on your reputation, relationships and employability.
If you don’t believe me, believe the stats. For a start, nearly 87% of Australians (or 21.74 million) have the internet. 93% of this number uses the internet daily. On average, Australians are spending up to 5.5 hours per day online including 3 hours of viewing streaming services and internet broadcasts, 45 minutes on music and 1.5 hours on social media. That’s a lot of time to get things wrong if you are not careful. Don’t forget that once something is posted online it becomes permanent.
Paying attention to your professional online personas can benefit our future careers according to researchers from Harvard Business School. You are defined by what others think of you – how successful they think you are, how they judge your character and behaviours and how they think you compare to others. The ability to present your personal brand authentically is critical if you want to succeed professionally.
The best ways to develop your digital profile
The recent pandemic crisis has heralded a new era of digital workers. In lockdown mode, offices are now obsolete and remote working from home is the new normal.
Nearly every form of business communication now is online. How you behave during a video meeting and how you sound in the acoustics of the room is now an important consideration for employers and customers. Even if your social media accounts are private, there is ample information on the internet that employers and recruitment managers can access if they want to learn about you.
But wait, here’s the good news: The internet relies on AI to collate information. AI depends on a series of signals and patterns to make sense of things. But unlike their human inventors, AI is inanimate. It does not possess emotional intelligence and is, therefore, more rigid, and prescriptive. If you understand the algorithm, you can easily curate an online profile (or avatar) in a way that can positively influence your target audience whether they are your boss, a recruitment manager, a new client or a business associate.
One of my roles as a career coach is to help my clients curate their digital profiles. My clients are constantly surprised by the amount of talent acquisition and recruitment activities that are conducted via social. So, I make it a point to include digital profiling as a key topic in my coaching sessions.
Here are three important things about digital profiles:
1. Your photograph
AI facial recognition may sound creepy to you, but the truth is AI is an unbiased platform. A person assessing another person for a job could bring into the equation his or her prejudices about the candidate’s physical attributes, age, and ethnicity. AI is a programme. It has no bias.
Some parts of your physical appearance can be controlled. You can consult a stylist to change the way you look. You can invest in a professionally taken photograph and even software to photoshop flaws. All of these items are worth it if you are on the lookout for a job or a new career.
Getting your online profile photograph right is the first step to creating a positive digital persona of yourself.
2. Your tone of voice
Your tone of voice in a video or an audio recording can convey many things about you as a person. Your voice can also convey clues about your health.
Here are some examples: If you speak hesitantly, you can come across as having a lack of confidence. If you speak too loudly, the listener will think you are overpowering. If you speak too fast or too slow and the listener cannot understand you, they will not shortlist you or buy from you.
The tone of voice can make your communication more effective. There are 6 different tones of voice in communication:
- Questioning and commanding tonality
- Pressing a point
- Addressing a younger audience
- Business voice
Fine-tuning how you speak by using the right tone for the right occasion can help you create a better connection and deeper engagement with your online audience.
3. Your choice of words
It’s not just what you say but how you say it that’s important. Behavioural science studies have shown that positive words are extroversion. If you want to come across as a sociable, outgoing and confident person then use more positive words. Individuals who tend to use more negative words in their communication are often regarded by others as pessimistic and emotionally sensitive. Those who are considered smart tend to use complex and unusual words. Unsurprisingly swear words signify anti-social and psychopathic tendencies. Also, too many self-referential pronouns (‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’) can come across as being narcissistic.
4. Your social media activities
There is growing evidence to suggests that our social media activities are indicative of our deepest psychological traits. More companies today are using social media activity as a process for talent acquisition, recruitment and evaluation. Your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and postings are used to create your psychological profile which could determine the future of your professional life.
If you are active on social media always think before you post. Consider if what you are going to say, share or view will have any impact on your future employer, current bosses, colleagues, clients, or partners. You want to inspire and excite not alienate or anger.
5 ways to the best digital profile
Here are my 5 top five tips for building the best digital profiles:
1. Highlight your capabilities and potentials.
Your digital profile should highlight not just your skills and experiences. It should project a strong message about your capabilities and potentials.
2. Tell your story
What is your story? To stand out from the crowd, you must have a strong personal brand that others will remember. Craft what you have to offer convincingly and persuasively to make an impact.
3. Find your ‘voice’
Organisations today are looking for leaders. You must demonstrate potential in your area of expertise and profession.
4. Watch what you post.
Ask yourself a question: ‘Would I do it in real life?’ If the answer is ‘No’ then do not post it.
5. Show your passion
Your passion and interests can impress. Employers want to know how your passions can add value to their organisations. You are a good fit if what you believe in is aligned with what the organization wants to achieve.