Hiring managers are doing a lot of their research about job candidates online these days. Once you’ve entered the professional world, it’s time to work on your online presence (even if you’re not quite there yet). Read up on these important steps and implement them to build your professional online presence right now.
1. Create a LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is a must for young professionals looking to widen their network. It’s a very easy way to network and meet fellow professionals in your area and around the world. Keep your LinkedIn profile as updated as possible. It’s the opportunity to broadcast your professional abilities to others, learn about job opportunities, meet other professionals and even get hired.
2. Get a professional photo taken (or at least take a work selfie)
First impressions are important and, given the way that the world works today, your photo on the Internet just may be the first, second and third visual impression you make on a potential boss or hiring manager. Your LinkedIn profile and any other professional online account should use the same photo, which should be a high-quality one where you’re dressed in professional attire.
3. Make an online portfolio
If you’re working in an industry where your portfolio is an important part of getting hired, it’s vital to have a place online where potential clients or hiring managers can see your work. You can link to this portfolio on your email signature, on all of your social media accounts and even print out the site address on your business cards.
4. Clean up or delete social media accounts
People make a lot of inappropriate comments online these days, under the impression that they are anonymous. Your potential boss may not find your Kardashian-trolling tweets as entertaining as your followers. Scan your accounts to check for inappropriate comments, pictures, memes or videos that you may have posted over the years. Controversial or overly political or religious commentary may also leave a bad taste in a hiring manager’s mouth, so be scrupulous about what you say publicly online.
5. Delete any photos online that show you in an unprofessional light
Doing a thorough online search precedes nearly all hiring processes these days. Inappropriate photos (involving alcohol or drugs for example) need to be deleted from your accounts, or at least made private.
6. Google yourself
A great way to make sure that you’re leaving a good online impression is to do a thorough Google search on yourself. Click on everything that pops up to see what exactly is showing up when hiring managers are doing the same thing. If an unflattering site comes up, you may want to first see if you can get it removed, or you could create some online accounts that will then show up before. It won’t completely fix the problem, but it will make it harder to find the dirt on you.
7. Update social media profiles to reflect professional status
Unless you have an anonymous social media account, make sure that your Twitter and Facebook reflect updates in your professional life. When you’re searched online, these two accounts are some of the first to show up so it’s important that your professional status is accurate.
Apply now to build your professional online presence and to boost your career!