Starting the hunt for internships by preparing your online profile

Today we started what will hopefully be a regular series of sessions with students to help prepare them for whatever they do after graduation. I wasn’t sure how many would come along. We had about 40, which was very good.

The session had two goals: (a) find out who’s done what for their online profile, and (b) see what other topics we should explore in the coming weeks. What follows is a summary of exercises and some links to other materials for more information.

The premise is that you should curate your online profile. By this I mean you should take care of how you’re presented online so that when potential employers look you up, you’re ok with what they’ll find.

  1. Start by looking up yourself online. Are the links the one’s you expected? What about images. Can you understand how the ones there are tied to you, via tags by other people, who post them, or by association? In my case I found photos of slides that I’ve presented at talks, and some that had me tagged in the group photo.
  2. Work out which images you have control over, and can remove/modify if that’s your goal.
  3. If you get lost amongst all of the others with your name, then think of how you might differentiate yourself from others to make you stand out in the industry you’re trying to enter. Maybe you need to add some more to your profile blurb.
  4. Start a GitHub and LinkedIn profile if you haven’t already. Use these to record what you’re doing and start building connections with people you know.

You can find out more about this space at the University of Aberdeen’s career service on social media professionalism.┬áIn particular, look at the booklet (pdf) on Online Professionalism and Employability.

The goal for now is to run these as regular sessions with careers advice and speakers from industry always aim for 1-2pm on Wednesdays, but sometimes 2-3pm until end of October and then pick up again in January 2020.


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