Society's reliance of online social media platforms has increased dramatically over the last 15 years. In relation to job searching, Seek, Australia’s career searching site, saw a record 29 million total visits in April this year, marking a shocking 70% yearly increase. In the age of a global-society that thrives on networking and connecting in order to find new opportunities, recruiters and prospective employees are gaining insight, and forming first impressions, from an individuals online presence and online persona.
The rise of online platform usage has also seen the prevalence of an individual’s presentation of their “ideal selves”, as opposed to their “real selves”, and this can be problematic, especially since there is so much pressure to reach our career goals and find success. In essence, we have lost our ‘real selves’ through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and even Pinterest.
Your “real self” is defined by your characteristics, personal attributes, and most importantly, your personality. The definition of your “ideal self” is who you think you should be, according to your perception of social and environmental influences. Our social media profiles reveal an intersect between our two selves, with the ideal mainly overshadowing the real. So are we presenting a true reflection of ourselves, or a hyper-idealistic version? And are tools such as “likes”, “fans” “comments”, and “posts” validating our false sense of self?
Here are some tips to present yourself in the most compelling way, without clouding who you really are:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
By all means, have goals and aspirations, but comparing yourself to an ideal figure is not a true representation of your self.
2. Be Authentic
Don’t be afraid to stay true to your real self. People admire honesty, and will value this more than an inflated and unrealistic version of yourself. Define what makes you unique, which will set you apart from others.
3. Align your "Real" and "Ideal" selves
Acknowledge the steps you are taking to reach your ‘Ideal’ self. There is always room for improvement, and nothing comes without blood, sweat and tears.
If you are consistent, and completely transparent in presenting who you really are, both online and offline, you will have nothing to fear. Your first impression will be captivating, allowing for many career opportunities. Your personal brand, unique to you, will set you apart from other applicants. Use your time and effort to align your real and ideal self, accomplish your aspirations, and enjoy the journey in becoming the best you can possibly be.
The Social Check Team