The Internet has fueled a lot of changes in the career progression game. According to research by ExecuNet, 77% of recruiters said that they used search engines to find background data on candidates. Not only that, 35% eliminated a candidate because of what they found online.
Your online presence is your personal brand. In other words, you need to take advantage of the opportunity to impress them before you ever meet them.
So, how can you make your online presence as strong as possible?
1. REMOVE ANYTHING UNPROFESSIONAL
The last thing you want is potential employers to go on one of your social profiles and see offensive messages or drunk photos. Make sure you keep all of your profiles as professional as possible by:
- Having a professional profile photo
- Monitoring tagged photos of yourself closely
- Customising your privacy settings to prevent all your information being public
- Not adding job/education details that contradict the information in your CV
- Not posting personal prejudices or extreme political leanings
This advice applies throughout your employment too. Remember that everything you post online may be seen by your boss or somebody at work.
2. MANAGE YOUR BRAND WELL
Treat your online presence as the opportunity to showcase your skills and experience. If you write articles or books, share excerpts of your writing. If you’re a designer or an architect, upload a few examples of your designs. Let your online presence do the talking for you, so that a recruiter or future company will know exactly what to expect from you before they call you in for an interview.
3. BACK UP YOUR CLAIMS
Your personal brand is better trusted when it has third party contributions. To truly sell yourself to potential employers, you need to make sure that you back up what you say about yourself.
The best way to do this is to show your recommendations and endorsements, whether they be colleagues, your team members or previous bosses. Having others confirm your abilities shows credibility. When a potential employer sees your profile they will have an idea of your capabilities and personality, meaning that you’re more likely to be contacted by companies that are compatible with your values.