More employers than ever before are researching candidates online before contacting them for interviews or offering them a job. While most job seekers are at least somewhat aware of this trend, they often focus on specific social media profiles or other portions of their online brand and not the entire picture. If you haven’t taken steps to audit your digital presence, here are some key areas to examine.
One of your first steps to review your online brand should be to search for yourself online1. Simply put your name into a search engine (or a few) and see what comes up. You can also add certain small details, such as your profession or job title or city of residence, and make sure to check a few variations of your name, such as nicknames you may have used professionally or while continuing your education.
The purpose of this exercise is to see what shows up after your run the search. While, in most cases, you’ll see links to social media profiles or other online activities you were aware of, you could also discover you’re connected to pages you weren’t expecting. Additionally, you could find out that someone with the same name as you is part of the results.
Review the information to see if what you find is positive or at least neutral. If something negative appears, then you may need to take steps to get it corrected (if the information is false or it is possible to be disassociated with the page) or be prepared to explain what appears to the hiring manager. For results that don’t pertain to you, but a hiring manager could incorrectly associate with you (such as another person with the same name), make sure you are also able to speak to the coincidence and clearly demonstrate you are not that individual.
Review Facebook and LinkedIn
Often, people provide a lot of information about themselves on Facebook and LinkedIn, so it is important to review each of these profiles carefully to see what hiring managers may discover if they stop by your page. Look through any photos and posts2 to make sure they are appropriate from a professional standpoint, and review all written information for grammar and spelling errors.
You also want to make sure that any information pertaining to your career or education is aligned, such as employment dates and degrees obtained, so that the picture is cohesive from one profile to the next.
Check Your Other Social Media Accounts
Though other social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram may not be viewed as a source of information regarding your career, they do provide insights into your personality and character. Check your feeds for any information that may be derogatory or offensive3, even if you didn’t post it, and make sure those posts are removed. You also want to make sure that anything you’ve added to your account is appropriate in a professional context.
If you aren’t sure whether something should be removed, ask yourself, “What would other people think when they see it? Am I proud of what is displayed?” If the answers aren’t positive, then take it down.
It can take some time to thoroughly review your online brand to make sure it sends the message you want to convey to hiring managers. However, it is typically worth the effort, as it can make the difference between being contacted by the employer or being sent to the discard pile.
Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Atlanta
If you are interested in learning more about managing your digital presence or are looking for new job opportunities, the professionals at Employ Partners can provide the guidance you seek. Contact a top staffing agency in Atlanta today and see what may be available in your area.