Do you remember when you used the internet for the first time?
I do. I remember the crazy noises the dial-up modem made as I logged into a whole new mysterious and exciting world. Things have certainly changed. Now, the internet is a seamless part of our everyday reality and existence. As much as the internet currently shapes what we do on a regular basis and how we do it, we also form our digital world with every post, image, and file we publish. We are now recording history faster than ever before. The tracks we leave behind and how we engage on a day-to-day basis online play a big part in finding a new job.
Most of us use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ to chat with friends or pass the time. More and more companies are also using social media to publish new updates, reach potential customers, and to recruit new employees. As a candidate in our modern world, you have a unique opportunity to provide potential employers with a glimpse into your personality and character.
Engaging with social media in a meaningful way can be a useful tactic in your job search strategy toolbox.
Interacting openly online also comes with great responsibility. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, “more than half of employers (54 percent) have found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate for an open role."
Have you taken the time to review the results when you search your name on Google? Give it a go. What comes up on the first page of results? What would be your first impression if you were a hiring professional? Check your social media accounts and try to look at your profile from the viewpoint of a hiring manager. Are there some posts that are unprofessional? Click here to see a list of reasons why employers decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media posts and profile.
If you do come across something you posted that might be considered provocative or inappropriate, try to hide or suppress that content, but don’t delete your profile. Companies still want to see who you are online, so build a strong candidate persona and profile that represents your skills and experience. You can boost your credibility in the field or push down any undesirable posts by proactively publishing content that aligns with what you want to personally and professionally portray online. Position yourself as a thought leader by starting a blog or a podcast or answering questions on quora.com. Nurture personal relationships by developing ties with other professionals in the field, joining online groups where you can contribute and participate in discussions, or pointing someone to a relevant article that they might benefit from or enjoy.
When you become a job seeker, you become a marketer. Just like a business, you must establish and build a brand that is attractive to potential employers. Give yourself a leg-up on the competition by evaluating, optimizing, and monitoring your online presence so you can tell your story online and take control of your career search.
Have more questions about online personal branding? Leave a comment or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy hunting!