It’s no secret that the current economy has made it hard for people to find jobs. You may possess the work experience and skill set required for the jobs you’re applying for, and you may have been told by an expert that your résumé looks great. But have you checked to make sure that your online identity represents you as well as your experience and résumé do?
Your online behavior can affect you just as much as the first impression you make in an interview with a potential employer. This includes activity on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, on job boards, and any other websites where you can publicly post a comment or question attached to your name. And don’t forget the dating sites!
When considering a candidate for hire, employers can do online searches to get a true understanding of your day-to-day behavior. They want to find out if you are a positive person. Posting gossipy and negative comments about others on your networks may indicate to employers that you are not a team player. Employers even look at your comments or blog posts to see if you use correct grammar and punctuation!
If your online identity conveys someone who is not positive, energetic or professional, employers may not consider interviewing you, no matter how qualified you are for the position.
In addition to preparing a strong résumé and practicing common interviewing questions, make reviewing your online activity a priority when pursuing employment.
Google yourself and review all public information on your social media profiles. Ask yourself, Would I hire myself based upon my Internet activity? Consider asking friends or family members to look you up online and give you their feedback based on what they find.
Consider using MyWebCareer to discover, evaluate and monitor your professional online brand. The site is free, and evaluates your online footprint based on information available on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora profiles. The tool identifies potentially negative sentiments on these accounts that could lead employers to form a negative first impression of you.
Keep in mind – in most cases, what you put on the Internet stays there forever, for everyone to find, even when you think it is hidden; if you wouldn’t do or say it in front of an employer – don’t post it!
Seeking more job search tips and career advice online? Check out Goodwill’s free career exploration site.