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Steps to keeping your online footprint positive

A leading career coach is providing tips on how to manage your online footprint and improve communication ahead of the SpotJobs Career Expo, 26 – 28 August at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

The millennial generation is aged between 16 and 35, and are the first generation to have held social media accounts throughout their teenage years. This generation have a greater understanding of technology; however this could be sabotaging their communication skills, and chances of employment.

Rebecca Fraser is the Chair of the Advocacy for the Career Development Association of Australia and a guest speaker at the 2016 SpotJobs Career Expo, says that “individuals with access to social media have showcased many life changing events on social media that may not be seen as professionally acceptable or suitable. These events may be seen as socially acceptable at the current age, however later in life may not be seen in the same humour or light. This evidence is providing prospective employers access to information that can be used for assessment in candidate suitability.”

Individuals of this generation need to be trained in how to manage their online footprint, having such information being brought to their attention and to understand the repercussions. Rebecca’s top tips for managing your online footprint:

1. Don’t rely on social media for communication:

“Research is showing that individuals that have relied on social media as their main form of communication throughout their teenage years, are now struggling with the demands of consistent face to face communication in the workforce.” says Ms. Fraser. It is important to maintain and manage the type of communication style that is needed when working.

2. Be careful what you post online:

“Individuals that are only just reaching employment age need to understand that organisations are turning to online resources to assess suitability of candidates and for this reason need to consider how this information will appear to a prospective employer before it is posted to an online forum of any sort” Ms. Fraser says. It is crucial not to post anything online that could be damaging to your reputation.

3. Keep personal and professional lives separate:

“The younger generations need to understand that there should be a clear differentiation between professional and personal lives. Merging the two by ‘friending’ colleagues and managers may not be a positive move. It is important that the professional relationship stays just that.”

Ms. Fraser also emphasises that it is important for schools and organisations to help provide information and training on the issue.

“Individuals of this generation need to be trained in how to manage their online footprint, this focus needs to start in the school environment, and can be aligned to conversations being had about bullying online.” She says.

Ms. Fraser notes that many organisations are now looking at the need to introduce fundamental employability skill training.

“These will include professional communication, written communication, workplace etiquette and conflict management. These approaches are resulting in a great number of benefits when organisations align the communication style and engagement with new recruits to what is expected in their organisations. Mentoring and buddying programs have been very useful in these instances and really support the ability for young individuals to transition in to new work environments.”

You can get valuable career counselling, your CR checked and sit in on seminars and subject specific lectures all for FREE at the 2016 SpotJobs Career Expo 26-28 August 2016. Download your free entry ticket today at www.CareerExpo.com.au

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