At Qnary, we spend much of each day looking critically at clients’ digital footprints, taking into consideration their social profiles, electronic resumes, Google search results, and more. We work to position our clients to stand out against others like them by developing custom strategies for where they need to be online, and what they should be doing in each venue to see a higher ‘Return On Effort’.
Of late, I have spent quite a bit of time speaking with job seekers, whether recent graduates or seasoned professionals. While people are aware of the wealth of data they leave in their digital wakes, they’re not so sure about which third parties are looking at their data and through what lenses. This week, in the spirit of providing guidance to those in need, I’ve decided to share some do-versus-don’t insight.
DO Google yourself. It’s important to get a sense of how you’re being seen by the people who may be searching for you online. Run a query with your name and an identifier (like location or industry) and click back a page or two to see how many of the top results are really about you. If most of them are—great! If not, it may be time to think about how to boost your SERP (search engine results page) rankings.
DO perform continuous checks across your social profiles. Make sure that your personal information (such as location) is correct and up-to-date, and check that your affiliations (Groups and Associations on LinkedIn, followed accounts on Twitter, “likes” on Facebook) are accurate and communicate a positive image of you online.
DO establish and follow an appropriate code of conduct. Keep in mind that while LinkedIn is the “professional network,” it is not the only site on which you should act professionally. Make sure that you stand proudly by all that you say and do online. Using correct spelling and grammar, for example, shows onlookers that you respect communication and value semantics.
DON’T go into hiding. Employers tend to seek well-rounded candidates, and making your profiles über-private doesn’t quite communicate that. On the contrary, a bare-bones page generally leads viewers to think one of two things: that you’ve got a lot to hide or, perhaps worse, that you’ve got nothing to show or share.
DON’T use social media for negative purposes. It may feel good for a minute to vent to the ether about something or someone, but it should go without saying that social media isn’t the forum for these kinds of comments. Chances are the subject will see the post, or at least that these guys will pick it up.
Time and time again job candidates are being judged based on their online appearances. For those of you who are currently searching for, or have recently switched, jobs, did you exhibit the behaviors laid out above? How much time have you spent optimizing your social media profiles to serve as your modern-day resume?