Did you know that over 80% of recruiters and hiring managers run a quick search on prospective candidates to find out more about their personality, behaviour and suitability for a role? Given such an emerging trend, it is imperative for serious job seekers to start taking responsibility for what the Internet says about them and where possible, ensure their online presence is as appealing as their cover letter and CV.
We recommend you take a look at the following guidelines to ensure your online presence is being managed accordingly.
How to optimise your online profile
Google yourself – regularly
This will give you an immediate assessment of your public footprint and where appropriate curate or remove anything which may be detrimental to your career progression.
Check privacy settings
Be familiar with your privacy platform security settings to ensure your personal events and out of business hours photographs cannot be tagged by others and filtered through into the public domain.
Integrate your online presence
Ensure your public presence is cohesive across all the social media platforms you use. Your achievements, interests, hobbies and anything else that is in the public domain should have a similar tone and represent you in the best light possible.
Have a decent photograph present
Make sure your online networks and/or website have a reasonable photograph of you. The photo doesn’t to be taken by a professional but should be a well-lit headshot in professional or business casual attire.
Don’t be invisible
Don’t be shy – if you do not have an online presence of sorts this may raise a red-flag to potential employers, especially in the digital industry. We’re not suggesting you open up your Facebook or Tinder profile to the public, but make sure you can be found and have a presence of sorts, particularly on LinkedIn.
Keep public posts professional and courteous at all times
The fairly obvious general rule of thumb is do not post anything too controversial. Certain tweets, posts and photographs may deter future employers if they’re considering you. It’s a best practice to refrain from using bad language, poor grammar, mentions of alcohol consumption and religion at any point. At the very least, limit such posts to your friends and hide them from public viewing.
Be an active participant in your field of expertise
Where possible comment in discussion forums on LinkedIn, offer your suggestions and be a thought leader. Avoid conflict and be seen in the best light possible. Engage, like and share other thought leaders posts and status updates to boost your presence further and update your own status regularly too.
It’s all about credibility
The bottom line is that recruiters and potential employers will assess your online presence, and if given the opportunity to dig deep into your personal thoughts and updates will do so. By assessing your digital footprint, employers can confirm your work experience and accomplishments but can also get an initial sense of who you are off-paper, and whether you’re a fit – before the interview process even begins.”