Most people will have an online presence – be that personal or professional – and more employers are carrying out checks online as part of their recruitment process. It’s important that you’re aware of what an employer might be able to look up about you should they carry out a basic search on the internet or social media.
Don’t get caught out with your weekend party pictures showing up in a Google search! Make sure the information a potential employer can get their hands on shows you in the best light possible:
1. Check What’s Accessible
It sounds quite straight forward, but making sure you’re aware of exactly what’s accessible should someone look you up on Facebook or via an Internet search is important. Privacy and accessibility settings have changed quite a lot across different social media platforms, so old posts and photos that may have been private could now be viewable.
I recently asked a mutual friend who wasn’t on my contact list on Facebook to look me up and see what they could view on my profile and was surprised by the amount that was still available. Make sure what’s accessible is what you want everyone, including potential employers, to see.
2. Update Your Privacy Settings
This ties in quite nicely with the above – make sure that old posts are limited and check the options by which people can search for you. If you have a personal Twitter account, have a think about whether what you’re tweeting is something you would want a potential employer to be reading. If it isn’t – make sure your tweets are set to private. Various sites allow individuals to search for you via different contact means – your mobile or email address – check whether this is something you want against your account.
No one is suggesting you can’t be you or enjoy sharing your views/weekend photos with your friends but it’s about making sure that the audience you share that with is one you want to see it. Don’t let it ruin an opportunity at your dream job before you’ve even managed to get to the interview!
3. Use Appropriate Profile Photos
Even if all your privacy settings are in place, your profile picture is viewable to everyone (so it’s probably not a good idea to have one of you drunk in a club or doing something illegal!).
An appropriate profile picture can make all the difference – and sets a good impression from the get go. Using the same photo across all your social media – especially if you’re advertising a professional presence helps set a standard as well, and will make you recognisable against all the relevant media you want people to see (blogs, articles etc).
4. Make Sure You Know Who You’re Connected With
When you’re creating a professional presence, it can be easy to get carried away connecting with anyone that requests it – but make sure everyone you’re connecting with is someone you want to have access to your profile.
Check into anyone that’s adding you as a contact – social media has made networking a lot easier and viable, just make sure their profession matches what you’re looking for professionally.
5. Create a Professional Presence
I’ve always recommended to clients who are passionate about a hobby or industry to do more to make themselves stand out to employers when trying to source work related to that.
From writing a blog and online articles, having a professional Twitter account and adding to online debates/commenting on relevant blogs – it can all start to build up a positive, professional online presence that will stand out should an employer decide to look you up.
It’s also a great way to keep ahead in job search and up-to-date in your chosen industry 🙂
photo by: tanzict