Quick note: Be sure to head over to Monster.com’s BeKnown blog today, where I share 5 Ways to Network from Your Couch!
Before you start your job hunt, you need to make sure your online calling cards are up to date, accurate and HR-ready. These five tips will help you stay off of the Human Resources’ online radar – and is a key component for helping you land an offer.
- Make your Facebook profile private. Really, make it private! When I Google you, which every HR person will do, and I can access your Facebook page… I’m worried. I am nervous to open the link and see what crazy pictures or posts or likes you have, but I’m also concerned about your decision-making skills. How did I make that leap? Having no boundaries at all with who can see or share your content shows me that you most likely do not have a filter – bad day at work, the world knows about, bad PR for our company. Have as many friends as you want, but make your profile private please.
- Review your past tweets. It is so easy to simply put words out there on Twitter without fully understanding the impact and the lasting value. I was reviewing a candidate’s Twitter account (which she had connected to her LinkedIn profile), and she was tweeting about drinking, partying, and her language wasn’t well, appropriate. Here’s a secret – I’m most likely NOT going to search for you on Twitter… but if you have it connected to your LinkedIn account, I will check it out. Only link your Twitter when you are tweeting about something that adds value to the position you’re trying to land. When you’re linked, show your thought leadership in a particular category or your witty sense of humor; but do not just tell me what your weekend plans are – I don’t care.
- Complete your darn LinkedIn profile. Honestly people – why are you being lazy about this? LinkedIn makes it very easy for you to do this – simply continue until you see the 100% badge at the top. A completed profile has your name and location, every relevant job title/company AND description of your duties, education, and any additional information that is beneficial. I like a photo, but I’m flexible on that. Just please make my life easier and tell me everything I need to know in one page.
- Only include your blog site/portfolio, if it adds value. Sharing your blog site information can be a strong selling point, but only if you are confident that it fully represents who you are. If you don’t want HR to read your blog, then don’t provide the website. Same goes for your portfolio – if it’s a hot mess, it will do more damage than good when I go to check it out. If you want to highlight your writing, but perhaps your blog isn’t the best outlet, I’d suggest writing an article on Ezine or other professional blog sites, to show your capabilities. For your portfolio, use a ready-made option like Wix or Carbonmade.
- Check what comes up when you Google yourself. Typically I don’t go past the first page, but make sure that your first page results are decent – random crazy pictures or tags may show up here, so be sure to clean up as many results as possible. Sometimes you can easily update the result and cache by contacting the site, but other times it may take some work. If it is really awful, there are several online sites out there that help you clean up your online reputation – try searching “reputation management.”