Take Control of Your Professional and Financial Identities

Everything you do online in this society is stored somewhere, whether it be transactions, “likes,” “tweets,” and more. That means future employers, banks, and pretty much anyone else can have access to more information than you’d like them to have. Use the tips below to reflect on what impression your professional and financial identities give off.

Professional Identity

Social media is a place to keep in contact with friends and family around the globe.

However, it is vital to keep an eye on your digital footprint. A recent study by CareerBuilder found that 70% of employers screen candidates’ social media before making hiring decisions.

According to the study, most employers aren’t necessarily looking on social media for reasons NOT to hire somebody; instead, they are looking for information that “supports their qualifications for the job.” Of course, employers do lookout for certain red flags, including posting inappropriate photos, discriminatory comments, bad-mouthing a previous job, and other unprofessional behavior.  And because of that, it is necessary to tailor your social media to be attractive to potential employers when you are looking for a job. You can even use social media to your advantage. According to the same study, 44% percent of employers have reported finding content on a candidate’s social media that caused them to hire them.

By gearing your social media accounts to showcase your talents, especially if they are related to the field you’re looking to get into, you can make employers feel much more comfortable about hiring you.

You should periodically check your social media accounts to ensure there is nothing you wouldn’t want an employer to see. Some social media sites even have an option to see what your profile looks like to the public. Other sites will allow you to make individual posts only viewable by certain people. That said, please note that conducting yourself respectfully online is the best way to avoid potential backlash, as everything on the internet can be archived.

Financial Identity

You can take steps to reduce the amount of information certain entities have access to; however, there are some things you can’t hide from a background check. Aspects of your life that appear in background checks are employment verification, credit history, driving history, criminal records, and educational history.

Your financial identity is closely tied to your professional identity, as employers, renters, banks, and more can have easy access to your credit history. Poor credit can affect employment background checks, loans, rental agreements, and much more.

Because of this, it is critical to monitor your credit very closely. Many experts recommend checking your credit quarterly at the very least to note changes, and there are even mobile apps that can provide live updates to your credit, and best of all, most of them are free.

You can keep your credit up by ensuring you don’t carry a large balance in credit cards, making sure you pay your bills on time, and always making at least the minimum required payment.

Many people judge based on their first impression of you, don’t sell yourself short by not maintaining your identities. Ensuring you monitor your credit, social media, and other online information regularly will give off a refined and professional impression.  You can open up the doors to many new opportunities by keeping up a professional identity.