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Employability skills resources

Your professional digital identity

Managing your digital identity

It is important that you carefully manage and maintain your digital identity to ensure a professional, up-to-date and positive online presence. Simple tips include; using the same photograph and style of name across your social media channels to help establish your personal brand, ensuring you regularly engage with tweets, Facebook posts, online conversations, etc. and remembering to that online content will be accessible to others for an indefinite period. This video will provide more details . . . 

  • This video will provide you with tips for managing your digital identity and enhancing your employability by ensuring that you have a professional online profile.
  • When engaging with people online it is crucial that you react appropriately to the media and the audience. For example, some people choose to have a personal Facebook account which they use to engage with their friends and a professional Linkedin account for engaging with their colleagues and other professionals in their industry.  be careful what you say online – don’t ever say anything you wouldn’t say in public or publish photos for example that you wouldn’t be happy for everyone in the world to see!  social media requires an ongoing commitment so ensure that you are able to manage your social media presence and have the time to update your profiles and participate in discussions.
  • Remember that…..“Social media is not a lesser form of communication, it is as worthy of a disciplinary hearing as anything said out loud” – this is a quote from a Guardian journalist in response to the issue of , 17-year-old Paris Brown whose £15,000-a-year post as "adviser on youth"  ended in embarrassing resignation when the media discovered her inappropriate comments on social networking sites.
  • There are ways of tidying up your online profiles, A survey found that more than half of adults in the Uk would remove everything they had ever posted about themselves online if they could. However,  it doesn’t have to come back to  haunt you
  • Hide or delete unwanted posts and pictures, flood google with impressive results, not many people look beyond the first 2 pages of google search results so push down any less flattering material by having more current information and accounts that appeal to search engines such as Twitter and Linked In.  have a managed PR ready profile on these accounts that google ranks highly,  if you use Facebook , manage your friends list to control who can mention and tag you in their posts and pictures and regularly check your privacy settings.  and finally  ensure that you delete any accounts that you no longer use.
  • In terms of employability, social media has created opportunities, both for employers as a tool to aid recruitment and prospective employees by providing an extra channel of communication. Take advantage of this user-centred platform  to present the best possible version of yourself  to enhance your employability.
  • Consider how to promote yourself on social media – when writing profiles and biographies select keywords to describe yourself that will develop your personal brand. Look at person specifications for jobs in your chosen industry, what skills and attributes do they value? Include these words in your bios to ensure that you are discoverable and, to show that you are the right person for the job.
  • So, Don’t forget to tidy up your online profile, check your privacy settings, delete any unwanted content and ensure you have a professional online profile to enhance your employability
  • create your own personal brand using different social media platforms and finally, take advantage of social media – apply your research skills to build your networks, show case your abilities and find jobs

Social Media for employability and professional networking

Students in an office.

Social media and professional networking platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to showcase your knowledge, skills and achievements. They can be used to build a professional network, search for jobs, develop global connections and establish your own personal brand. More and more employers now check the social media and professional networking sites for information on applicants, so ensure that you have a professional online profile that enhances your employability and attracts potential employers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking site which allows you to connect with other professionals in your industry. You can showcase your work experience, skills and achievements and upload presentations. Think of it as your online CV. You can also recommend colleagues and endorse their skills and get recommendations and endorsements in return. You can use it to follow companies, participate in discussions and search for jobs. Many employers now check LinkedIn for potential candidates. 

It’s quick and easy to join here: https://www.linkedin.com/start/join

Twitter

Twitter provides an excellent opportunity for networking and job hunting. Get instant access to industry news and developments. Follow companies and search for jobs. Many companies will have a Twitter profile specifically for advertising  job vacancies. Share your own links and promote your website or blog and share examples of good practice with your followers. Join Twitter here:https://twitter.com/

Digital footprints

Your digital footprint is the information left behind when you go online. There are two types of digital footprint;

Active - things that you are intentionally sharing/publishing/submitting online. This includes social media activity, emails and online chats, location tags, information submitted to online forms, message boards and forum posts.

Passive - this may include your IP address, browsing history, purchasing habits and online behaviour. This data can be used to build customer profiles and customise users' online experience.

Remember that it isn't just your actions that can impact your digital footprint. Anything that anyone else posts about you online can have an impact such as photos and statuses your friends tag you in, and even reviews you leave on shopping websites such as Amazon and eBay.

Digital wellbeing

CC0/Public domain: https://pixabay.com/photos/macbook-laptop-computer-office-925480/

Digital wellbeing can be considered in these four contexts: social, personal, learning and work, and has been defined by Jisc as:

 ‘The impact of technologies and digital services on people’s mental, physical and emotional health.’

The prevalence of technology in our lives can be overwhelming and it is becoming increasingly difficult to ‘switch off’. Consider using social media timers and monitoring screen time to enhance your digital wellbeing. You can also download wellbeing apps on your smartphone such as Headspace which provides mindfulness and meditation techniques

Further reading

Social media: six steps to take back control

Four steps to a healthier relationship with tech

#NewFilters to manage the impact of social media on young people's mental health and wellbeing - report from the All Party Parliamentary group on Social Media Inquiry: 'Managing the impact of social media on young people's mental health and wellbeing.' 

Digital identity and wellbeing online courses

FutureLearn is an online education provider of a diverse selection of high quality courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. Manchester Metropolitan has also recently partnered with FutureLearn.

Many courses are offered around the topic of digital identity and citizenship, covering areas related to evaluating information online, social media, filter bubbles, personalisation and much more.  Here are a selection:

Becoming a digital citizen: an introduction to the digital society - become a more informed digital citizen and engage in debate about what is appropriate in the modern world of social media

Learning online: managing your identity - reflect on how you want to present yourself online and take positive steps towards these goals.

Learning in a networked age - What does it mean to learn in a networked world? Find out, and discover how to make use of your own personal learning network.

Digital wellbeing - do digital technologies affect our wellbeing? Explore the concepts of health, relationships and society in the digital age.

The power of social media - explore the impact of social media on the world and learn how to put it to good use in everyday life.

Employability library workshop information

Library Services InfoSkills run workshops to help your studies throughout the year. You can find upcoming dates on our Eventbrite page or on the InfoSkills Workshops page.

One of our session is specifically on developing your employability skills in terms of researching your prospective employers:

Researching commercial companies for applications and interviews

 

Careers sessions are run by Manchester Met's Careers and Employability service throughout the year.  Browse the full list and further details on their Events page.