Prove you’re worth it
Employer-proof profiles help hide your flaws and sing your praises
Why bother interviewing when they can stalk online? Following the controversy caused by reports that employers are asking job candidates for the passwords to their social media accounts, it’s clear more and more bosses are digging the web for digital dirt.
“Any smart recruiter will definitely try looking-up a potential candidate online,” says Farid Ahmed, managing partner at Virtus Consultancy Services in the UAE.
That’s a view firmly echoed by Meghna Kothari, director of McCollins Media, who says checking online profiles has become standard practice before choosing any new hire.
“Employers like to catch potential candidates off-guard, so applicants should be aware that employers have started looking into their digital reputations,” Kothari says.
Like it or not, our online personas have become proxies for our real world selves. Our likes, dislikes, photos, social activities and network connections are all on Google - and a quick peek could be way more enlightening for an employer than conducting a short interview.
Interestingly, Kothari says: “I have hired people without looking at their résumé and just by checking their online profile.”
On the other hand though, Ahmed, who has recruited more than 7,000 people worldwide, says an online-check could immediately disqualify those who lie on their applications.
“It’s common for someone’s CV to say one thing, while his or her online profile says something entirely different, especially when it comes to information related to age, qualifications, and sales figures,” he adds.
Privacy rights aside, your online past is out there, waiting to be found. Face facts, if you post it online - it’s fair game. Of course, one way to prevent employers from snooping on your page is to set all your privacy settings high. Then you can say: ‘Go ahead and Google me because you won’t find anything.’ But having nothing show-up when searching your name can be worse.
Fact is, you aren’t anybody online unless Google knows you. No hits means you are neglecting your personal brand. Here are some proactive ways to ‘proof yourself’ online:
CLAIM YOUR NAME
Claiming your name helps employers find you. When employers search for an applicant online, the job seeker’s name is everything, so it’s a good idea to claim your ‘real name’ as a screen name on social media sites like LinkedIn, facebook, Twitter, pintrest et al. Registering a dot-com with your name is also a way to defend against someone else with the same name. Setting up a blog or online portfolio to share your work or information related to your industry is also a great opportunity to build your brand.
BUILD YOUR OWN LOOKUPPAGE
LookupPage seeks to promote your presence on the web by your name. This unique network is free to join and can affect your online success with greater access to search engine optimisation through the use of your name. You are also given a dashboard where you can check your statistics on who visits your page. www.lookuppage.com
PROMOTE YOURSELF VIA ‘MARKETME’
MarketMeSuite is a cross promotional dashboard that gives you one giant place to share, schedule, and post to your LinkedIn profile at the same time as Twitter and facebook, saving loads of time while keeping your profiles up-to-date. www.marketmesuite.com
IT HELPS TO ‘PRESUME’
In today’s competitive job market, even the most finely honed resumes can wind up in the recycle bin, so the ‘presume’ - pronounced just like résumé - could be a more inventive way to get the attention of hiring managers. It is essentially a visual introduction, produced using slide-show software that allows you to describe your career and personal history along with a pitch to highlight why you should be hired. www.prezi.com
CREATE A QUICK RESPONSE
Get tech-creative and create your own QR code. Add it to your CV so recruiters can scan it to link directly to your portfolio online. QR codes are easy to make and can help you get noticed - especially if you ditch the standard black-and-white QR code and opt to add some pizazz to your design. www.qrstuff.com