Control Your Online Image
Have you Googled your own name? If an employer pulled up your Twitter profile or Facebook page, do you make a good electronic impression? According to a new survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, 56 percent of employers are using social-networking sites to find and evaluate potential employees. Of the employers using social media for job recruitment, 95 percent are looking at LinkedIn, 58 percent are checking Facebook, and 42 percent take a look at Twitter. While these sites are great places to connect with friends, remember to keep personal or embarrassing information private. If your page is public, be sure to remove any unflattering photos, profanity, lewd photos or anything that sounds unethical.
Another way to manage your online image is to have a LinkedIn account. Don't have a LinkedIn account? Create an account now! Once you have created an account, fill out your profile completely and become active on the network. This will help push your profile to the top of search results, which means a potential employer will be more likely to see what you want them to see. LinkedIn allows companies to find you. Wouldn’t it be great to be invited to apply for a sought-after internship because of your qualifications on your LinkedIn profile? It’s possible. Just as more experienced hires may be recruited to apply for jobs, LinkedIn helps you job search even when you’re not actively looking for opportunities by making you part of a database of professionals, allowing employers to look for you!
You may also consider creating a Web site to highlight what you want others - including potential employers - to know about you. You can create your own or use Google Profiles to create a public profile. This is the place to let your personality shine through! Focus on your strengths, experiences, passions and interests. Describe your volunteer work and what you gained from giving back to the community. Include pictures of yourself doing something that relates to your positive experiences. Ensure you have an appropriate screen name and e-mail address - Hotchik101 does not impress employers!
Remember, social media can be an asset during a job search. But just as it’s important to make a good impression during an interview, it’s increasingly important to make a good online impression before an interview. To learn more about how to use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to network your way into a job, see “How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search.”