What would an employer find online if they Googled your name? What would they not find? These are important questions as you begin your college career, look for internships, and start your job search. In a world that centers on technology and social media, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you have a professional online presence. Don’t miss opportunities as you begin or build your career.
Clean it up
There exists a short window of opportunity to impress an employer. Use your cover letter, resume and interviews to make this lasting impression. Often what cannot be gleaned from your interaction can be found with a quick web search. It’s important that the information available helps boost your personal brand and not harm it. It’s time to ditch that email address you created in middle school. It’s time to make private those photos that may paint a picture that is not becoming of a top job prospect.
There are a number of ways to “clean” your online presence:
- Separate your personal accounts from your professional accounts.
- Set your privacy settings appropriately.
- Use your name and not a nickname to continue to build your personal brand as a professional.
- Review your current content and remove anything that harms your brand.
- Don’t follow people who harm your brand.
- Add content to help push down negative content during an online search.
Dress it up
Having no presence can be equally as detrimental as having a poor online presence. Employers wonder what you are hiding if they find nothing about you. Without a professional online presence, you are missing valuable opportunities to showcase your talent and skill. You are also missing opportunities to network with those in your chosen field.
Here are ways to “dress up” your online presence:
- Figure out which social media platforms are most used in your industry.
- Follow industry leaders on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and others.
- Are you in a creative field? Use Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook as a living online portfolio of your work.
- Use LinkedIn to showcase your accomplishments, education, organization affiliations, and community services.
- Online media is a good step to build your network of professionals.
- Upload a professional head shot.
Share your expertise, accomplishments and creations through your professional online presence. This can help that employer determine that you are the best candidate for the job. Better yet, it can get you noticed and recruited before you’ve even applied.
SPC has dedicated Career Services Professionals ready to assist you as you build your professional resume, portfolio, and professional online presence. Ready to get started on that LinkedIn page now? Check out our previous article, Are you LinkedIn? for helpful tips and resources for your best online profile.