Today we live and work in a world where we exist both in real-life (as a living, breathing and evolving person) and online (in various virtual dimensions, largely self edited). From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn to Instagram, to a host of other emerging social platforms, our virtual presence sometimes preceeds our real life self. Take LinkedIn for instance. If you are applying for work, be aware that any recruiter is going to ensure they have done their research on you! Not just on LinkedIn, but on any platform they can find, using any online reference they can find. More and more, we need to be aware and mindful of what we are posting online and how we are presenting our virtual self to the world. As in real life, people can be very quick to make judgments about who you are online, what you stand for and what you even think, without even knowing you. And unlike the real world, our online presence can exist in an almost timeless way, continuing on regardless of life itself.
So my challenge for you is to stop and think – how am presenting myself in these virtual dimensions? First stop, profile pictures. Do your profile pictures enhance your online presence, or could they be inhibiting you? Second stop, do an audit of your online presence. What is posted globally for the ‘world’ to see? Are there opportunities to enhance your privacy? Are there posts you need to consider deleting? Does everyone need to know how hard you can party?
If your goal is to secure a new job, for instance, maybe you need to rethink your online presence. Think about your life goals and how your online presence might be helping or hindering you in achieving these goals.
For example, below is a new LinkedIn profile photo that I took for a client several weeks ago, in my home based studio. My client is presented in a professional and friendly manner. Here is someone with a clear vision, who looks approachable and intelligent. Someone you’d like to do business with. The simple black background amplifies the person, and the personal qualities you see expressed through his face.