Did you know that a vast majority of US employers will check a potential candidate’s social profile before interviewing them?
Here are some of the stats, according to a Harris Poll done on behalf of CareerBuilder (between February 16 and March 9, 2017)
This means you want your first impression to be absolutely stellar.
You want your potential employer to see glorious things and be left chomping at the bit to bring you into the fold before you've even set foot in the door.
If you're thinking about updating your resume right now: STOP!
You need to do some pre-work.
You need to verify and control your online persona.
Below are the steps you'll need to take in order to shape the online perception of your next hiring manager.
I'm not going to lie, this will be hard work, but once you get it done, you can dramatically increase your chances of succeeding at your next interview.
Google Your Name
Yes, I just told you to google yourself.
It may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many people neglect to do this.
What you'll see is probably going to be quite hum drum if you haven’t been specifically trying to upgrade your social presence.
All you need to do at this point is make a note of the online impression you seem to be leaving at the moment.
If you really want to beef things up choose 3 adjectives you want to use to create the online impression of your dreams.
Eliminate Any Negative Impressions
If, after researching your name you notice a few things you come across aren't exactly showing you off in the best light it's time to eliminate any negative impressions.
Is your grammar or spelling atrocious?
Do you have Neo-Nazi leanings or did you post a bad joke one drunken night about your love of crystal meth on some friend’s Facebook page?
Depending on the security settings for your Facebook account, employers could see all of this and think you're a hot mess.
They will not hire you because you've automatically turned yourself into... a liability.
Highlight Your Awesomeness
What you want to do after cleaning up your less than positive online social flubs is leave a trail of breadcrumbs highlighting your awesomeness.
Are you into photography or art?
Are you a creative person who makes beautiful things out of what some would consider trash?
Do you love to write?
Make it known.
Post positive things on Twitter and Facebook.
Join groups that are relevant to your interests and participate with wild abandon (just use spell-check if your grammar and spelling aren't so great).
But, before you hit that Send or Save button...
Always think about the impression it will leave with a potential employer if they come across it when researching you.
Show them your personality, interests, and talents.
It will set you apart from those who don’t.
Write or Link to Articles in Your Field
Another amazing way of establishing credentials via social media is to write about or link to great articles in your field of choice.
Get people to engage with you by creating a group on Facebook.
Times are a’changing.
Get in on the forefront of the technological revolution and use it to your advantage.
If a potential employer observes you have a following and are posting germane information about your chosen field you're automatically perceived not only as a major asset, but a PASSIONATE one.
You're elevated to thought leader status. You become a subject matter expert (SME).
This game is all about perception and human psychology.
You may not have years of experience, but they'll feel like you do because you're doing so much more than someone who just CLAIMS to, but has no actual PROOF.
'The proof of the pudding is in the eating.' -Unknown
You'll have an advantage over the competition simply because you have more visibility, dedication, and consistency.
Update Your LinkedIn Page
You ALWAYS want to keep it up-to-date.
If you're changing fields make sure to join groups relevant to your new field of choice and learn as much as you can in your spare time.
Post articles in groups and make sure you're as active a participant as you possibly can be.
Check out this article to REALLY up your LinkedIn game: How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn's New Features
If you're relatively new to LinkedIn and aren't even sure where to start, check out my LinkedIn Profile 101 Checklist:
Join the Facebook group #LevelUp Your Career for support from others looking to achieve career success.