Found your dream job advertised? Read this before you apply!
It's that time of year where a lot of people start looking for a new job. Are you in that boat too? Did you just spot your dream job being advertised!?
You’ve tailored your resume to the job advert, written a selling pain letter (the new Cover Letter), and rehearsed the standard interview questions. Good news is that you’re almost there. But did you remember to refine your online presence?
Having a sh*t hot resume and practising your interview skills is great and super important. But as more and more of us have an online presence (to be fair, who doesn’t!?), we also need to make sure that it fits who we are both personally AND professionally as online presence is increasingly becoming part of the job application process.
Companies are being thorough in making sure that they are hiring the right person – Just as much as you should be doing your research to make sure that a company is right for you.
One of the first things recruiters do after reading your resume is check your name online. Being a former recruiter myself, I can say that this is so true! They’ll browse through Google and have a look at your social media profiles, especially your LinkedIn (and check you out on Facebook).
You might not like it, but this is happening. Especially in smaller companies and start-ups.
Here’s everything you need to know about controlling your online presence, taking control of your reputation and personal brand.
#MOGULTIP Number 1
Learn more about privacy and security settings of the social networks you’re using
Social networks are always changing their privacy settings and sometimes they keep it quiet when they do. It’s super important to have a close look at them on a regular basis to make sure that you can control what you want others to see. Selecting the right privacy settings will give you control over who can see your profile or browse your posting history.
For my Facebook profile I click on Privacy Settings and choose the Limit Past Post Visibility option. That way you can hide all your content at once, if that’s what you want to do. If that is too much for you, you can control if it's friends of friends or the public that can see your posts.
When controlling your online reputation, you need to decide how much information you’re willing to share publicly on social media. You get to decide.
#MOGULTIP Number 2
Take a closer look at your posting history
Most recruiters will research candidates via search engines, as well as searching social media sites. LinkedIn and Facebook will be the two main ones.
On LinkedIn, everything you like or comment on is visible in your Activity Feed so you should consider what you want your online reputation to be.
That post you liked that was political? Commenting on someone’s useless post that they are stupid for posting that content on a professional site? All of that comes up.
As a recruiter, I have removed connections because it comes up in my feed when they like or comment on things in a manner that just isn't professional.
Especially the ones that really bash recruiters…. Do you think a recruiter is going to represent you or work with you if they see that you are affiliated with the recruiter-bashing? Probably not!
Sharing and exchanging information on social media has become second nature, Millennials have grown up with it. But before you post your next update, you should consider how it might affect your online reputation.
Unless you set your profiles to private, recruiters will be able to see what you’ve posted. They will see your photos, status updates, things you have shared… That’s why the first step to controlling your online reputation is to check your settings then Step 2 being to have a thorough review of your social profiles.
Do you see any past posts that might put you in a bad light? Any that you are embarrassed by? Delete them. Don’t just hide them.
#MOGULTIP Number 3
Get rid of unwanted Google mentions
Now it’s time to have a look at the search results on Google.
Have a look at the first few pages. People with extremely common names, may not actually find anything. But what do you do if you see results that might damage your reputation?
You should instantly set out to remove them. Google has a procedure for removing personal material. You can request that Google delete information from search results.
Remember to check Google Images as well. Do you see anything that might affect your online image negatively? You can remove it. Just get in touch with them.
#MOGULTIP Number 4
Use your online presence to demonstrate your skills and build your status
Recruiters will be researching you with your resume in front of them. Make sure that your online and offline brand are of the same feel. How would you feel if you ordered a pair of Valentino shoes and you got a pair from Target/Primark?!
Now imagine if the recruiter see's your awesome CV and then their research gives them the total opposite?
To develop a personal brand that emphasizes your professionalism and credibility, you should show that you’re active in the online community surrounding your industry or field.
Make the most out of LinkedIn’s blogging platform. It’s a great and easy place to start! Just make sure that the content you do create is relevant to your field. I wrote a post referring to the #LIKEAGIRL media campaign. It may not have been directly linked to my field but it was in the remit of it and it was a topic that I’m highly passionate about.
Another great way to optimise your LinkedIn profile is to ask colleagues and supervisors to write recommendations for you. It’s basically an online reference that anyone can see – imagine a future employer reading how great you are at your job? Or a customer saying what a great experience they had whilst dealing with you? This is priceless!
When applying to popular or in demand positions, you could be up against 200+ other applicants. You can be sure that not many of the candidates on the shortlist will have cleaned up their social media, so by you doing so – it will make you stand out. It could give you that added edge over your competition. Can you afford not to have that?
Dee is the Career Transformation Expert for women and the founder of The Female Mogul. With 14+ years HR and Recruitment experience working for Global Multi-National Companies, she has a wealth of experience in Talent Management and her career has taken her around the world. A modern blend of femininity and trucker mouth with a dash of gangsta, Dee is the Career Transformation Expert that is disrupting the status quo!