How to Improve Your Professional Digital Identity

full_Careers-Marshall
Image source: Kelly Marshall

In today´s extremely technological world, one’s  digital identity is important. Human Resources professionals have become accustomed to searching for applicants online to see what they can find out. From Google and Facebook searches to seeking out your profile on LinkedIn, recruiters are able to find out more about you than ever before. This means that your digital identity is a tool that you can use in your favour. It opens you up to a much larger audience than ever before.

Writing on this topic Alex Fenton (2015) writing for Salford Business School has created a number of tips to help people to improve their digital identity to their advantage.One of the first, which is arguably pretty important, is as Fenton puts it:

“Make sure that you have a professional photograph of yourself – smile and use the same photo to carry across your ‘brand’ across your social media platforms.”

Many people still choose to put any picture up, but having one that looks professional and that makes you look the part for the role that you do or want to do can create an improved image for you in the heads of those that may want to work with you. It is argued that any other images used should either be your own, or you should get permission to use them. An important point made is that images can be used for search engine optimisation so naming them carefully can be important.

A second tip is considering having a website or a blog as a part of your digital identity. While not by any means critical for some careers, it can certainly help you to stand out. If you search online you will find that you can set up a website or blog that is quite simple for free, so it does not have to cost you anything except time. Some people working in certain professions like IT or design may want to have a better website, and this can still be achieved relatively cheaply. Your digital presence must be easy to view on mobile devices, as so many people access the web this way these days. Once a platform is in place it is essential to keep it up to date. A minor but important point here is that doing a spell and grammar check is necessary to maintain the impression of professionalism. Do not forget to include links to your different social media pages such as LinkedIn so that interested parties can find out more information if they need to. Before you put the website live it is important to test that it is working well and doing you as many favours as possible. Your website should be search engine optimised and you need to pick keywords that you want people to associate you with and work these into your platform.

 

Digital-Identity-Infographic
Digital Identity Infographic

 

If you decide that your digital identity will be enhanced by a blog, then this is another aspect of your image that needs to be kept up to date. If you post relatively infrequently then there may not be any point in doing so. When coming up with posts think about what is relevant to the image you are trying to project about your expertise. Share any content that you write on your social media forums, and especially LinkedIn. It is recommended that blog posts are anything between 500 and 1,000 words. Make the post easy to read by putting in sub headings and bolding, and if possible make sure that links are search engine optimised. Getting people to interact will bring more people to your website or blog, so asking them to comment or like or share at the end can be helpful in generating further interest. Sharing helps with building links to your site, as well as making others aware of you, so this is particularly useful.

Measurement of what you do with your digital identity is really important in finding ways to hone and fine tune it for success. It is recommended to use analytics tools to explore where people are finding your website or blog and the keywords they are using to do so. Google Analytics or other similar web tools can be extremely helpful for this. You can get all kinds of figures that can help you to improve from this tool, further enhancing your digital identity.

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