LinkedInI’m a big fan of social media and have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest and Instagram accounts, along with a defunct My Space page. I do however believe in keeping my professional and personal lives separate to some extent. I use Twitter and LinkedIn professionally, but do post some personal things on them, being careful of what I do post. I do this by thinking is this something I would tell my manager or future boss?
I find Twitter a great source of information pertinent to my studies and for building up professional networks in the LIS field. However 6 months ago, I was a Twitter sceptic and only opened an account as it was necessary to complete Information Programs in my first semester, which included a lot of Twitter Chats. I followed several people in the LIS field at the suggestion of Kate Davis, and some even follow me back. I am continually amazed by the amount of useful information I have picked up on it and I find it a great learning tool on my meal breaks and train trips, as it is quick and snappy and can be easily accessed on my smart phone. On a personal level, I tweeted my favourite group on the day they were due to play in Brisbane and they responded, something I could have never imagined pre-Twitter.
My Linked In profile is a little neglected and tends to centre on my previous career, although my task this semester is to update it and make it relevant to my future rather than my past. This I feel will remain purely professional, as there doesn’t appear to be much scope for personal interaction.
My other social media accounts are purely personal, and on Facebook in particular, I have put in place privacy settings. I am still mindful of what I post, as I feel I should be setting an example of responsible social media use to my teenaged nieces and nephews. In truth, I rarely have opportunity to post anything which will come back to haunt me, as a middle aged married woman, studying full time and working part time.
How do I see my professional brand online? Well currently it needs some work to improve it, which I hope to achieve this semester. However, when I performed the Google search on my name, I couldn’t find anything that would damage any future job prospects. This is due mainly to the fact I am conscious of what I post online, but I also have a common name so am very difficult to find when searching. In order to get round this I include details of my social media sites that I want potential employers to peruse on my resume. I hope to be able to enhance my professional brand as I progress through Professional Practice and other units in this course and get relevant industry experience.