There are two types of personas today, one the persona of a person as we see them, talk to them, feel about them, face to face. The other is a virtual persona, the way we know them without or rarely meeting, image largely from their social media handles.
The virtual persona has got a further fillip in 2020 during the pandemic months as physical distancing has become the norm coupled with social intimacy online. At this time, you can use your social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and many others to become more employable and put out just the right image of yourself.
What is virtual persona?
What do we mean by the virtual persona of a person? It is the sum-total of impressions a person makes through the images, the content, the shares, the opinions, the achievements etc which s/he puts up on his/her social media handles.
An hour-long research of all social media handles of a person can give reasonable insights into the personality traits, belief systems, triggers of joy or anger, likes and dislikes, and even leadership and teamwork traits, emotional intelligence, etc of the person.
This is handy for the HR department of any organization considering the person for recruitment.
Here’s how you can make yourself look employable through your social media platforms:
Though LinkedIn may not be the commonest social media platform, but this is the most important from professional perspective and recruiters or head-hunters will invariably search a person online.
If you are not there, you are not worthy of being considered. Hence, your LinkedIn account should exist, should be updated till yesterday, and should be connected to at least 500 or more relevant persons in your circle and in the domain you want to work in.
It should also have recommendations of half a dozen or more persons who know you well and who themselves have a standing in the society professionally.
You should be following e-groups of LinkedIn in the domain you are interested in, and should be sharing good professional content or interesting personal achievements in your LinkedIn account, along with participation in debates and discussions organized by various LinkedIn groups.
This needs an investment of an hour or so daily, but it is worth it, from a professional perspective, if you are young and in a growth curve of career.
Hare are tips to build your LinkedIn account for emplability purposes.
Owning a blog of your own is a great evidence of an alert and informed mind. Today, organizations want informed, creative and problem-solving minds to join them.
Writing a series of blogs on one theme of your choice related to your domain or professional area of interest surely is a proof of genuine interest in the domain.
But be original, illustrate your points and write correct English. The blog topics are good content for interview questions as well during recruitment interaction.
Facebook is the most popular platform for the millennial generation and to a large extent with the GenZ also. It documents our life as we put it out, with comments, pictures, videos, nostalgia, wishes on special days, opinions on issues, etc.
The sentiment analysis of FB posts of a person clearly shows his/her interests, opinions, views, likes and dislikes, things that trigger joy or sorrow, people close to the person, and thereby give a good picture of the actual person behind the name.
However, everyone knows that people try to put forth only their best moments or strong points on FB. They do share largely personal experiences and quotes and fun elements which they find amusing.
However, for a recruiter, what is important is to find the value system of the person being explored, what excites and what does not, what sort of learning content being shared, and if the person is only in trivia or also interested in substantive things in life as reflected on the timeline of FB.
Hence, it would be good to keep this in mind and put up content on FB which gives a holistic image of your life and personality. It is better to avoid extremely frivolous content both on timeline and in the FB stories. Some people start a series related to one aspect of their interest area or domain they are in, and it is indeed a good idea to do so.
Twitter is arguably the most debatable social media with lots of arguments and counter-arguments there.
However, if a person is in Twitter and more so to explore content, issues, people and matter of relevance to his/her professional field, the domain studying or interested in, it is good from recruitment perspective.
One can engage in healthy debate and discussion too. Twitter also shows what sort of people you follow and who follow you.
The choice of the people you follow will give a glimpse into your personality and interest areas, which is of significance to a recruiter.
Instagram is a visual medium. Here the stories shared through pictures, graphics, cartoons, short video etc show your choice of issues, events, people, things etc that excite you the most.
This gives an insight into your psychographics to the recruiter. Hence, what you share is the mirror of your mind and life.
Starting a YouTube channel of your own is time-consuming, and to an extent tough. But those in showbiz or in public-facing domains or jobs would do well to have a YouTube channel of your own.
These could be a YouTube channel of creative work of your own (dance, music, public speaking, etc).
A channel if exists, and if popular with at least a limited section of audience, shall be considered a major achievement and evidence of active, creative and purposeful young professional in the making.
– Article by Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Pro Vice Chancellor, Adamas University, Kolkata