Employers will often search for you online to see what comes up. Here's some tips to make sure they find the employable you and not that drunk photo that keeps cropping up or that ugly logo you designed 4 years ago.
Through social networks, there is vast amounts of data being created by us and therefore a big trace. There might be blog posts, images on Flickr, Pinterest boards, Tweets, etc. Together this creates your online presence.
Typically, employers will always Google you and sometimes search for you on Facebook too. This guide focuses on ensuring your name brings up only great stuff in Google (Facebook is easy, just alter your privacy settings, delete any particularly bad photos and unlike those weird things your friends liked when they got onto your account). The better the links an employer finds on Google, the more likely they are to get you in to meet them. We’ve put together some areas to refine your online presence to promote your talent to potential employers.
Firstly, clear your cookies and cache (so Google doesn’t know who you are) and do a simple search for your own name. You’ll be surprised where your name might appear. It could be your old Myspace account, a blog you wrote in college, or a comment you made on a forum 10 years ago. Be sure to check more than just the first page of Google and do the same for Google images, it’s the first place most employers will look.
Where possible, remove the things you’re not comfortable with. If you don't have the access to remove it, try contacting the owner/moderator of the website. Most will be happy to help.
As they are often the first to appear you should start by removing any old unused profiles. Next up, try to make what you have relevant. Tweet some bits about the creative industries, pin some images of creative work you admire and be sure to keep it all updated.
This is optional as you may feel that your existing profiles have got you covered. If you do have a website, treat it the same as your CV and your portfolio. It needs your time and attention. Make sure you're committed to it as it'll soon start to look tired and out-of-date if you don't give it the proper care. It is also important to have a relevant domain name (URL) that personifies you. It may be as simple as your first name, full name or a nickname but a random one may be missed by Google's searching spiders.
If you go for it, your website should contain everything you have online. Be sure to add links to blogs and social media profiles so people can quickly discover your other online identities.
Once you’ve got it setup make sure to add a description for Google that appears alongside your link and add keywords into your website that best describes your talents. This is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and will help people discover your website.
Websites take time to create, design and maintain, commit to something you can manage and improve as you go.
Knowing a little bit of code can really help when creating a website. We put together this guide to some of the best places to learn coding online, but if you're short of time and only need a basic website try services such as Tumblr, Wordpress, Cargo Collective or Squarespace.
Your website must be easy to use. Employers only have a few moments to decide if they like you so help them find what they are looking for as easily as possible. Don’t hide what you’re good at behind a number of clicks. The longer it takes someone to discover, the more likely it'll be missed.
Now for the content, include a bit about who you are, what you like to do and your experiences. Few people ever do this but talk about what your work solved, hurdles you had to overcome and what elements failed. Being able to evaluate your own work shows your ability to learn and grow – important for any job.
A page that lists your experience is key but you shouldn't expect an employer to look through your full CV when browsing your website. Keep it simple and include a download or a link to your CV for anyone who wants it.
Finally, add your site to your FutureRising profile. You don't want anyone to miss it.
Here's some personal portfolios and websites that we recommend checking out for inspiration. They're from a range of talented individuals including designers, creatives, planners, developers and so on.
Blogs, just like websites, CVs and portfolios, can be both wonderful and woeful. If you have one, make sure to keep it up-to-date. Show of your ideas, your work and the things you love. Think of it as your shop front. It will be the first thing people see of you and will help them instantly get a glimpse into your interests and personality (two things employers want to see).
Keeping blogs can be great but updating them can quickly become a burden and a dusty old blog does more damage than good. So if you can't keep up, don't have one. Show off your personality with a Twitter feed or simple website instead.
Your online brand will evolve over time. Keeping your online presence updated sends impressive signals out to employers about your abilities, organisation and eagerness to work. Only take on what you can to build your presence, make it easy for people to discover you.