In the 21st century the job-seeking process is complex and quick. A career path can present itself to you in the blink of an eye, and can disappear just as quickly.
The development of platforms such as LinkedIn have shown that it is not just a paper CV that shows off who you are and what you can do. It’s now possible to find out every bit of detail needed about a potential employee to make an educated decision as to whether they should get a job or not.
It is widely accepted that employers will likely Google an applicant as soon as they get their name. What comes up in the search can be a window into their lives – whether you like it or not. To ensure your results are ones that play in your favour, here are some tips to promote yourself better online and ensure a search of your name makes it more likely that you will be hired…
1. Google Yourself
The best place to start – do what an employer might do (ideally on a different computer than your own to see what someone else might see).
This will show you what they might see and could give you a good place to start when identifying where you are visible and what you should do about it.
2. Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile (Or Create One First!)
Firstly, if you are not on LinkedIn then you’re doing it wrong. Join LinkedIn. It is a fantastic [FREE] resource where you can lay down as much or as little information about yourself, connect with people you know and people you want to know, and ultimately use as a live, digital and interactive CV.
Second, make sure your profile is complete using LinkedIn’s built-in step-by-step guide, add a great photo and take your time on your bio. Then get connecting – sync your account with your phone or contacts and start by adding people you know. Then once you have a network the platform will automatically start suggesting jobs and new connections for you – then you can start to action these connections and see where leads might come from.
3. Write a Blog
What better way to express yourself and show-off your expertise and knowledge in your area than writing about it. You can write anything you want and tailor it to your intended are of work to show a) that you care about what you do/want to do, b) are knowledgeable and have an opinion on it, and c) you are computer/digitally savvy enough to get out there and set it up [but don’t worry it’s actually pretty easy to do with services such as WordPress and Tumblr].
4. Check Your Settings
Go through all of your social accounts and check your privacy settings – you may be happy for someone to discover your Facebook profile through a Google search, but are you happy that they can look at your 10-year old photos from University parties? Probably not.
Settings can often be tucked away or a little tough to root out, but platforms nowadays have great flexibility and control for their users when it comes to privacy – take time to work out what the different on and off switches mean.
5. Make the Most of Your Biography
Your Twitter bio, LinkedIn short biography and any other place where you can add a public biography are what people will see first. Take time to make this as good as possible – you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but people often do anyway so make sure yours looks great.
6. Reverse Engineer The Search
Work out what an employer might look at that is connected to you – go through the process yourself and make sure everything is as you wish at each stage of a search. Think about what they want to see and tailor your profiles to that.
Plus, turn the tables on a potential employer and look at their company profiles, connect with people from that company, or even explore their LinkedIn profiles. They will no doubt do it to you, so you can do it to them. Going into an interview with knowledge and info on the bosses, co-workers or interviewees will almost certainly be useful in your search.