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7 steps to an amazing social CV

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Have you ever Googled yourself? Were you happy with what you found? Or was your online presence made up of a few Instagram posts and some tweets from last year’s Eurovision? There’s nothing wrong with leaving some clues about your love of Eurovision or Bake Off, but if this is all there is it creates a pretty limited picture of you.

Prospective employers are increasingly combing the web for information about potential hires so you need to be aware of what your digital footprint looks like to others. Here are seven steps to turn your online presence into an amazing social CV.

Step 1: Think about your audience

There is no such thing as a perfect social CV. It will differ from individual to individual and from industry to industry. If you are working in an industry that expects a high level of engagement with technology, a real flair for design or wants to you be breathtakingly creative you will probably want to set up a social CV that reflects this (see some examples of creative social CVs).

If on the other hand you are planning to work in a pretty conservative job you might want to tone down the videos and jokes and just concentrate on creating a good LinkedIn profile.

Step 2: Do some damage limitation

We’ve already told you to Google yourself. If you found something that you didn’t like you better do something about it. Look out for flame wars, comments on websites and photos that you are less than proud of. Think about whether you are happy with everyone knowing about your personal interests. Change your privacy settings, delete old accounts and the truly embarrassing stuff and try and crowd out things that you can’t delete.

Step 3: Build a landing page

A social CV is based around a single summary page or site. Some people build elaborate social CVs complete with videos and a call to action for employers. But, there is no need to start with something elaborate. As a bare minimum you should have a complete LinkedIn profile (see some tips on building a good LinkedIn profile).

Step 4: Add a decent photo

You might feel that how you look shouldn’t matter – but people don’t generally like to interact with the Twitter egg. Try and make sure that you’ve got at least one decent photo of you looking professional on your social CV.

Step 5: Tell people about it!

Once you’ve established your social CV make sure that people notice it. Include a link in your email signature and on your conventional CV.

Step 6: Provide some examples of how fantastic you are

A social CV is not just a web page with the same information as your conventional CV. The wonderful thing about the web is that it has no space limits so you can provide links and evidence for employers. So, you say that you were captain of the rugby team. Great! Why not link to a photo of you winning the cup! You talk about your interest in video. Fantastic! Include a link to your YouTube channel. Try and offer links to real examples that help to explain who you are and why you are right for the kinds of jobs that you are applying for.

Step 7: Think about your network

Thinking about your network puts the ‘social’ into social CV. Although it is important to have a good landing page you need to recognise that people might find you in a host of places. More importantly they will judge you, at least in part, by the company that you keep and the way that you interact with your network. If, for example, you are applying for jobs in museums, an employer would be pleased to see that you follow a number of museums and galleries on Twitter and that you have recently shared an article about changes to Arts Council funding on LinkedIn.

Participating in career-relevant online networks will also pay off in other ways for your career. You will learn more, get known and noticed by people who have opportunities and build up professional contacts for your future professional life.

Finally - don’t expect your social CV to do all the work for you

Creating a good online profile is only part of the job. You will still need to put in the work of building connections, making applications and researching your future career. But, the time you put into your social CV should also reinforce your wider career building and set you up for success.

Written by Korin Grant and Tristram Hooley, who are the authors of You’re Hired! Graduate Career Handbook.

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