Are You Job Hunting? What Will Employers Find When They Google You?
By Peggy McKee
Online social media is a fantastic tool for job hunting. The Big 3 (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) each have their own unique style that you can utilize in different ways for your job search. But while you’re working these sites to land the perfect job, employers and recruiters are looking for you, too. And if you get their attention in the early stages of the job interview process, they’re going to be actively searching for more details about you. According to one survey, 70% of hiring managers and recruiters have rejected an applicant based on what they found online. Have you Googled your name lately to see what they'll find out about you?
You can manage your online identity to control your reputation and your image in the job market in these 5 ways:
LinkedIn: Take the time to set up a professional LinkedIn profile, join some groups, and get active. LinkedIn is the primary business networking site for professionals. It’s a tremendously powerful resource for you to research companies, keep tabs on the hidden job market, and contact hiring managers about jobs. A well-crafted LinkedIn profile will showcase your job history, your skills, and your recommendations.
Facebook: Although this can be a great, casual place to network socially, it’s important that you don’t get too comfortable. No trashy pictures, bad language, or any controversial religious/political comments. It’s still a public forum, and you really don’t know who might end up seeing something you’ve said, even if you’re trying to be careful of your privacy.
Twitter: Twitter is a terrific place to be in the conversation on just about anything. Again, watch what you say. Keep it professional. Ask questions, and try to help others. An employer will be impressed with someone who’s engaged and relevant.
Show up in unexpected places: In addition to interacting on the social sites, think about writing a guest post for a relevant blog, or start your own. Comment on other writers’ articles with something of value. Think about contributing to medical/healthcare/laboratory presentations at conferences. Newsletters or other publications aimed at laboratory work, medical device, or other health care industry areas would be great.
Be consistent: Get a professional photo (it doesn’t have to be professionally done; it should just be a formal, businesslike pose) and use that photo every time a photo is called for. Make sure your name is consistently written so that it shows up in a search.
Ultimately, you decide how people will see you. Since you know they’ll be looking, be proactive. Make sure they see the confident, competent professional they want to hire.
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