Imagine you just got done with an interview for the job you want very much and it went well. You feel completely confident that you will soon be receiving a call telling you that they have, indeed, chosen you to fill the position. But that call never comes.
Maybe you said something offensive and didn’t realize it? Or maybe your would-be employer decided to check out your Facebook page and saw the drunk and disorderly pictures you were tagged in from last weekend.
In this age of technology, your online presence is almost as important as how you carry yourself in person. Employers are constantly checking on prospective employees and even current workers to make sure they are representing themselves well. Workers are a reflection of the company and employers don’t want anyone to taint their image.
Jack Kurcab, a junior marketing and professional sales major, knows a lot about the business world and always makes sure he follows the vital rules of online professionalism.
“It is important to have an online presence because it can help give you the competitive advantage over your classmates, who you are ultimately competing with,” Kurcab said. “By having a professional online presence you take the first step in differentiating yourself from your competition.”
Take a second to type your name into Google and see what comes up. It is surprising, and a bit disturbing, the amount of information about your life that is floating around cyberspace without your knowledge or permission.
One very obvious, but effective, step you can take is to double check that all your social networking privacy settings are doing their job. Sometimes an unappealing tagged picture can slip through the cracks due to a friend’s profile settings.
However, it is best to simply delete any material that could possibly make a bad impression, but leave your profile public. According to the Illinois State Career Center’s “Career Resource Guide,” putting all your social networking sites on lockdown may make employers think you have something to hide.
If you aren’t comfortable with leaving all of your networking portals open for all to see, just choose one and make it shine.
Instagram is becoming more popular by the minute and many businesses are beginning to use photos and videos to promote themselves. Why not do the same? Turn your account into an Insta-portfolio. Post photos of any impressive things you have done that relate to your ideal career field and someone may take notice.
The “Career Resource Guide” says that tweeting is the new way to get on the radar of the business you are looking to work for. It is a casual way to show your enthusiasm for the company.
“I was lucky enough to get an internship by connecting with an employer. I just reached out to them after they viewed my profile on LinkedIn,” Kurcab said.
LinkedIn is an online resource that Kurcab and the Career Center agree is essential for anyone looking to make contacts in the professional world. Employers love LinkedIn so much that some are even requiring LinkedIn information on job applications. LinkedIn is a great way to show possible employers who you are and what you can do without even meeting. Just by creating this account your dream job may find you.
If you use it correctly, and always watch what you post, social media can be a very helpful asset in the job search. As long as you keep it professional, having an online presence can benefit you greatly and possibly secure you a bright future.