Every new graduate should see the value in maintaining a solid, professional online presence. Hiring managers and recruiters could be searching for you online at any point in the job search process. Are they seeing digital gold or digital dirt? Your online presence can validate your candidacy and effectively market you to stand out against the competition.
- Google Yourself
Take control of your online reputation. Try Googling yourself to see if you have any digital dirt in cyberspace. Growing up with the internet means you’ve been going online long before you thought about your career. Information about you (good or bad) may still exist in the form of online journals, games, forums or personal websites.
- Create Profiles on Social and Professional Networks
It’s time to re-boot your online presence. Develop new content on social networking sites, blogs, or personal pages to market yourself and your value as a candidate. To show up on the first page of search results, join sites that have a high Google ranking like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. Use social media to your advantage: remove any content under your control that is no longer relevant.
- Complete Your Profiles
So you’re on LinkedIn and Twitter. The only way they will help you stand out is if you complete your profiles. Many sites have step-by-step instructions for completing profiles on these networks. These sites are an opportunity to market yourself and complement your resume. They will only be worthwhile if they contain information that isn’t simply a copy and paste of your resume. LinkedIn can showcase your recommendations, endorsements, previous work history, awards, or skills that you didn’t have the opportunity to discuss in the interview.
Not completing your profile or leaving sections blank may not hurt your job search, but it is a missed opportunity that most cannot afford in this competitive market.
- 3 P’s: Public, Professional, and Presentable
Employers want to learn more about you and see if the person they interviewed is the same out of the office. If you prefer to keep your profile private, just remember that everything online has the potential to go public. A friend can retweet you from your private Twitter, you can be tagged in posts on Facebook, and friends can take screenshots on any app or platform.
Nothing online is ever truly private, so be proactive. Try finding a way to refine your regular use of social media. Improve your chances of securing a second interview or job offer by showing hiring managers you present yourself professionally.
Some employers look up candidates to determine cultural fit. Sharing your love of hiking may work in your favor, but your political views may be another story. Make sure any questionable content is removed. Leave any groups or unlike any pages that stir controversy or could be seen as a red flag to an employer.
Taking extra steps to ensure you market yourself effectively will make you stand out from the competition. Don’t overlook these details – start managing your online reputation today!