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October 20, 2016

Looking for a job? Don’t forget to clean up your online presence first

Looking for a job? Don’t forget to clean up your online presence first

Have you ever wondered what a recruiter does first after reading your CV?Here's the answer. The vast majority of recruiters will instantly screen you online. They'll type your name into Google, check the results which pop up and have a look at your social media profiles.

That's why you better make sure they don't find any content that might put you in a bad light. Even a stellar CV won't help you recover from bad online reputation.Here are 6 critical tips to help you polish your online presence, and significantly improve your chances at landing a dream job.

1. Don't disappear from the web

Recruiters spend 6 seconds on average scanning a CV. If it grabs their attention, they'll be eager to learn more about the candidate.That’s why many people are adding hobbies and interests sections to their resumes now. Recruiters not only want to know if you have the right skills, but they also want to know if you’ve got a personality that’s going to be a good fit for the company.

That's when they turn to Google, where 30 percent of all search queries are in fact related to recruitment.You might be thinking: Why not just disappear from the web and lock all your online profiles? If recruiters can't find any information about you, they won't stumble upon anything compromising, right?

That's a huge mistake.

Recruiters don't screen you because they're looking for hidden weaknesses. They do it to learn more about your personal brand and make sure that you're a good match for the company culture.A survey from CareerBuilder revealed that 35 percent of employers are less likely to invite a candidate to a job interview if they can't find any information about them on the web. Instead of hiding from recruiters, ensure that they can quickly locate your LinkedIn profile by adding a link to your application.

Showing that you know how to take care of your personal brand will give you a competitive advantage over candidates who don't take their online presence seriously.

2. Take these steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile is the most important online space for boosting your career.Optimize your profile with these simple steps:

Write an attention-grabbing headline. It's worth the effort since the headline is displayed right next to your name. Use it to capture your professional aspirations and stand out from other candidates.

Customize your profile URL to display your name instead of a string of numbers. That's how you make it more clickable and easier to remember.

Show off your network and give social proof to your skills with endorsements and recommendations. Ask your supervisors and colleagues to write you feedback and then return the favour. Write recommendations that are on-point and refer to projects in which you've participated.Nurture your presence on LinkedIn and make the most out of its features for personal branding.

3. Carefully check your posting history

Take control of your reputation and remove all social media content which might put you in a bad light or compromise your personal brand.Delete these posts permanently. Hiding them might not be enough – other users can still take snapshots of this content, and post it publicly with your name added to the mix.

Twitter is a good example here. You might set your profile to private, but that won't help if other users decide to quote you in their public Twitter streams. To stay on the safe side, just think twice before posting anything on the web.

4. Ensure that your CV and online profiles match

Recruiters will be looking at your online profiles with your CV in hand. That's why you should make sure that they see a coherent story. Your online profiles should only verify the information included in your CV.

Help recruiters blend your offline and online persona into a consistent professional image. Craft your online presence to deliver on the promises you've made in your application. If you present yourself as a well-connected headhunter, show off your network on LinkedIn with endorsements, recommendations, and activity in groups related to your niche.

Tailor your CV every time you're applying for a different position, and remember to tell the same story with your online profiles.

5. Take a closer look at privacy settings

Social media platforms offer different privacy settings that determine which users can find you and browse through your posts.

These settings are often updated, so keep up with the latest developments and make sure that recruiters will be able to find your profiles and see just enough information to make you an attractive candidate in their eyes.

6. Manage your reputation on Google

Type your name into Google. Do you see any mentions that might compromise your personal brand? Don't worry. You can get rid of them.

Head over here to ask Google to remove this information from search results. Have a look at Google Images as well. If you spot something unwanted, you'll need to follow a different procedure.Check other search engines – Bing and DuckDuckGo both provide users with feedback forms for submitting takedown requests for non-legal reasons.

Key Takeaway: Nothing helps you stand out from other candidates like a polished online presence.

When applying for a job, focus on delivering a well-crafted CV and a compelling cover letter. But also complement your application with a spotless online reputation. You'll show recruiters that you know how to use online content to build a strong personal brand.Want to become a top-tier candidate and land your dream job? Start cleaning up your online presence right now.

Natalie Severt

About the author: Natalie is a writer at Uptowork - Your Resume Builder. She writes about how to create successful resumes so that you can land your dream job. When she isn't writing, she eats tacos and reads complicated novels.

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