How your online presence can affect your chances of getting an internship

Online presence is an important representation of your identity that is often taken into consideration by potential employers. According to research cited by LinkedIn, up to 70% of employers have denied a job candidate based on unprofessional online presence, and 85% of employers reported that a professional online presence positively influences their hiring decision. In this age of technology, online presence is a growing component of professional reputation, but how should you manage your online platforms to best represent yourself? Read on to learn about how what you are doing or not doing online could affect your hiring potential.

Man using a tablet at home

Take a good look at your Facebook Profile

Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites, and one which potential employers often like to check. Keeping a professional profile that is free of inappropriate content, is important to maintaining a positive online reputation. Many people make their Facebook profiles private, but they fail to realize that potential employers can still view certain aspects of their profiles, such as their profile pictures and cover photos. You should also be vigilant of what others share about you on Facebook. Configuring your Facebook settings so that you must approve tagged photos and statuses before they appear on your page can prevent potential employers from viewing unfavourable content. Facebook is generally a more casual social media platform, so it is ok to post mindful photos with your friends and family as long as they are not inappropriate. When you are using Facebook, it is always a good habit to consider whether you would be ok with an employer viewing what you have posted. You may want to refrain from talking about certain sensitive topics which could offend future employers. It is also very important to avoid writing negative comments about former employers or co-workers, as this may reflect badly on your integrity. Following these steps can increase your chances of obtaining an internship or job opportunity.

Create a LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most popular social media site that is specifically designed for professional online presence and networking. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is not a casual social media site, and therefore should only include professional content. When choosing a LinkedIn profile picture, you should select a portrait photo of yourself in which you are dressed in professional attire. On your LinkedIn, you may include a copy of your resume or a link to your personal website or e-portfolio. LinkedIn is a great way to develop your online presence and show potential employers your networking skills. If you are applying for an internship, having a LinkedIn account can show your internship coordinator that you are already working toward your online profession presence and that you keep up to date on online networking platforms. Further, once you have started working an internship, you can preserve your valuable networking relationships through LinkedIn.

Decide if an e-portfolio is a good choice for you

More and more students are including links to their e-portfolios when applying for an internship or job position. Sometimes including such links can increase your chances of landing an internship or job, but if your e-portfolio has irrelevant content you could actually hurt your chances of obtaining the position. If you decide to create an e-portfolio, make sure that all of the content that you include is relevant to your career field and represents your skills. If you are applying for an internship or job in a creative field, including samples of your artwork, photography, designs, music, or other relevant media content can be a great way to show potential employers your talents. Including writing samples, links to published articles, copies of certificates and awards, and other credentials can also be a great way to share your qualifications. When creating an e-portfolio, however, refrain from including overly academic school assignments that are not relevant to your work field. You should also refrain from sharing personal projects or any other irrelevant work. When applying for an internship or job, including a link to a well-managed e-portfolio can demonstrate your computer skills, impress your potential employers, and increasing your chances of obtaining the position. Once you have started your internship, an e-portfolio is also an excellent way to share some of the content that you create while on the job.

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