No matter who you are, your online presence impacts all facets of your life – including your job searching prospects. Whether positive, negative or neutral, your online presence can be the deciding factor of securing your dream job or getting rejected by a potential employer.
In this blog, we investigate how being online can affect your job hunt and how a digital scrub up can best reflect who you are in real life.
With how social media has become part of our daily lives, it has shaped the way employers find new employees. In its most basic form, job applications tend to involve sending your resume, having an interview, knowing the outcome and starting work. But nowadays there’s another step involved – online screening.
Each employer is different, so they might adopt different approaches for investigating your online presence. But no matter how they do their online sleuthing, they will always find your online profiles, social or otherwise.
Employers will be keeping an eye out for potential red flags when they look into your online life. Some of these red flags include problematic or offensive behaviour, negative posts about your previous workplace and any provocative content that might rub them the wrong way.
However, there are some benefits to having an online presence. If you have a website that showcases your resume or portfolio, then most employers will look favorably on you as a worker. Additionally, a professional social media presence can demonstrate that you’re confident with networking in your industry.
Job agencies might also use your online presence to determine where your interests lie, how you refer to past employers, and signs you’ll be a good cultural fit for the employer. This can help the agency work out what up-and-coming roles will be best suited for you.
If you’re worried about how you think you present online, then make an incognito tab and google yourself. You should search for a combination of your first, middle and last names. Go five pages deep into your search, and don’t forget about the other search options too – you never know what images or videos of yourself might be out there.
What you see will be what your potential employer sees. If anything incriminating crops up, get rid of it as soon as you can.
But take caution, as a blank online presence might also be a red flag for some employers – it can show you’re not attuned to the news and trends of your chosen industry.
Having separate apps for your professional and personal lives is important for maintaining a healthy presence online. Decide which social media platforms are better suited for professional use and those that are better for private matters. Think about how you will use these platforms and how they can further your career.
If you’re in doubt about splitting your professional and personal socials, you can ensure that your feeds are protected, such as only being viewed by approved followers or friends. While this ensures that you are screening the users who can view your content, there’s nothing stopping them from taking a screenshot and sharing it publicly.
When navigating social media, always take care when posting or sharing content. Anyone, including future employers, can see what you do online. When in doubt, you can reach out to a recruitment agency, like Woods & Co, for advice about how you can be your most professional self online!