“In today’s social media landscape, how hard should you work to create a squeaky-clean Online Persona? Job recruiting experts consistently urge their readers to manage their online identities because, according to a survey done by Reppler in 2011, over 90% of recruiting managers visit potential candidates’ social media presence before hiring and, more alarmingly, 69% of recruiters say they’ve passed on potential job candidates based on a negative social media presence.”
No, the days of email resumes aren’t over, but it’s not too early to jump on the bandwagon and put your professional self online.
You may be surprised by how easy it is to lead employers to evidence that you possess these qualities and how much control you have over the information they find.
Here are six steps to creating an online persona that will boost your professional reputation and help you land the job of your dreams:
1. Clean Up Your Digital Dirt
Everyone has a life, and for many of us, our lives are documented on social media.
Which, during a job search, can be okay. If a potential employer sees an image of you playing soccer with your kids, skiing, or sitting at an outdoor cafe in Paris, it’s no big deal. Pictures like that might even give an employer a better sense of who you are and help them gauge how you might fit into their company culture.
But anyone who uses social media, or has friends who use social media, has photos out there that aren’t helpful during a job search.
Social media sites aren’t the only places your “digital dirt” may appear, so you may have to do some digging.
But don’t worry. There are steps you can take to control how you appear online.
Before starting your job search:
Go through all of your photos and photos you’re tagged in. You may need to remove tags or ask friends to remove photos. (This matters more than you might think. According to a survey of hiring managers and HR professionals, 50% of employers discount a candidate after seeing their inappropriate photos.)
Keep track of your comments and comments your friends leave on social media sites, blogs, etc. as well as any mentions. A tool like IFTTT can help with that. Make sure your comment alerts are on and working. (If you’re new to IFTTT, learn more here.)
Set up a Google Alert with your name to keep track of what people are saying about you and stay notified about what information about you is being added to the web.
Google yourself while signed our of your email accounts or by going incognito to see what others see when they Google you.
After building your online persona, you’ll be amazed at how focused, self-aware, professional and confident you feel.
We wish you the best of luck finding the perfect job that nobody else can do the way you can!
Has an online persona helped you find the job of your dreams? Are you in the midst of a job search? Leave a comment and share your experience.
Written by Melissa Fragiadaki
Melissa is WiseStamp’s blog administrator and loves delving into topics of interest to small businesses. She’s an audiobook fiend, podcast connoisseur, and adventurous traveler who enjoys writing lines of code as much as she enjoys writing pages of fiction.