A lot of effort is put into making sure a CV or portfolio is as good as it can be, but what about your online presence? With social media now regularly considered during the application process, it pays to be mindful of what you are putting out into the digital space. But where do you start?
Check Your Passwords: There's nothing worse to an employer than trying to check out some of your work and being hit by a obstacle they can't overcome. Most of the time, they won't go to the added effort of re-requesting details from you. Many have limited time to commit to hiring and onboarding, so it's important that you provide all the information up front. If your showreel or portfolio is password protected, then ensure you provide that information up front in your application or consider removing it entirely.
Change Your Privacy Settings: Employers want to be pleasantly surprised by what they find when they search for your name online. A quick way for them to find no results is if you have your social media accounts to friends only. That means all of those cool projects you've been working on and sharing are being missed. If you prefer your privacy, you can always turn it back on when you get the role.
Keep it Professional: You absolutely don't need to be boring, but it goes without saying that employers will also use your social media to get a snapshot of what you are like. It's a quick way to get a character reference of someone. Be mindful about what you broadcast. Don't be negative or hurtful towards the things you don't like. Uplift the things you do like. Mind your language and always have one question in the back of your mind, "If my boss saw this, would they be impressed?"
Extra Curricular Work is Key: It's usually not enough to just do the bare minimum, this is especially true for graduates. If you've only done your course work, you'll struggle to stand out as you find yourself up against people who have worked on amazing projects in their free time. It's this passion to hone your craft in your own time which will speak to employers. Make sure to make this work easily accessible online and share it regularly across social media.
Add to the Conversation: Social media can often feel like shouting into the void. If you only share your own stuff then people are going to be less receptive of you. Uplift projects you think are cool from your peers, leave comments, and try to build collaborative relationships with others.
Have a Complete Profile: Whether it's Linkedin or Twitter, make sure your social media profile is fully filled out with up to date contact details, portfolio links, and imagery of yourself. You'll not get a job with that edgy Mickey Mouse avatar. If you haven't got Linkedin and you're looking to get into the games industry, it isn't strictly mandatory but we would recommend getting it. Recruiters both internally and at agencies spend a lot of time on that platform and you could be missing out! Make sure to update profiles often.
Keep Your Connections Career Focused: This is potentially one of the single most important bits of advice we can offer. Making sure you are following the right people for your discipline means it's easier to join in on the conversation and notice when vacancies open up. If you're an aspiring Character Artist, take a look at who did the character art for your favourite games. Follow them, comment on their work, and share your own. Don't be afraid to network! You may want to follow a celebrity or a non-relevant brand, but you can always have an alternate account for that.
Check Spelling and Grammar: There's not much we can say about this that isn't obvious, but poor spelling and grammar will cause you more than a few problems. In a survey done by Monster.com, they found that 56% of employers were put off by lax examples of the English language. Put in a little bit of care, even if it is just a post about what you had for breakfast!
Don't Overshare: You might think sharing posts from your favourite studio en masse is a great way to score brownie points, but recruiters do sadly see straight through that. If you're history shows a massive spike in engagement with a brand around the time you sent in your application, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to see that you're not as passionate about the brand as you seem.