Looking for a new job? Don’t forget to put your best foot forward online too!

social-media-300x292In this brave new world of constant online activity, it’s not enough to have a strong CV and a good interview technique; you need to have a professional online presence too.

There is absolutely no point submitting a brilliant covering letter and CV if, when the HR Manager googles you (as part of their shortlisting process) they find your twitter rants, Facebook boozy photos and no LinkedIn profile (or even worse, an out of date LinkedIn profile).

I’m not saying you need to change your lifestyle, or that you should be misleading in your online presence, but you should be very aware of how your online presence could come across to others. Google your name right now. Done it? What shows up?

I am (un)lucky enough to have a relatively unusual name so all search results tend to be about me! So I need to be very careful about what I share online, therefore I tend to  have different privacy settings for different social media channels depending on how I use them/their purpose.

Here are my recommendations to make sure you are putting your best foot forward online.

LinkedIn
This is a no-brainer. You MUST have a LinkedIn profile. With a professional photo. And up-to-date accurate information. It’s also a good idea to regularly share articles and/or post info to your LinkedIn profile as this activity ensures that your profile will show near the top of a search result of your name.

Facebook
My personal preference is to keep Facebook purely as a personal channel. I tend not to ‘friend’ a lot of work colleagues  (unless they are friends as well as work colleagues of course) and treat it as a private channel to keep in touch with friends. So, to this end, I always set the privacy setting to ensure that search engines do not find my Facebook profile and therefore return it in search results linked to my name (see my previous article on Facebook privacy settings).

Twitter
My twitter account is linked to my LinkedIn account and I am happy for anyone to read it. I tend to tweet about books, cats, food & drink and events (in that order!) and am not ‘political’ or controversial (so quite dull!). I am not saying that you shouldn’t be controversial on Twitter if you want to get a job, but you should be aware of how you might be perceived as a result of your tweets.

Email address
One last thing. Most people nowadays have several email accounts. Gmail is the preferred email of choice but there is still Hotmail (so old school I hear you cry!) and Yahoo, etc. It shouldn’t need saying but do please use your name rather than an ‘amusing’ moniker for your professional email address. I did a stint in recruitment and some of the email addresses that were provided to me on CVs were genuinely mind-boggling (I’m talking to you ‘sexykitten83@xxxx.com’ and ‘xxxisawesome@xxxx.com’.

In other words, use your common sense and don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t be prepared to share with your work colleagues/prospective boss in real life.

Happy job hunting!

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About Nicola

I am a proud book nerd who also has the travel bug bad; I LOVE recommending books to others (even when they aren't that interested) and spend way too much time looking at amusing cat photos on the internet.
This entry was posted in advice, social media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Looking for a new job? Don’t forget to put your best foot forward online too!

  1. I do not use LinkedIn. Seriously. Do I HAVE to??

    • Nicola says:

      Honestly? Yes, I would have a profile. It doesn’t have to be extensive but it does need to be accurate and up to date.

    • Kendra says:

      I see it as a personal preference. If your thinking of changing careers or just starting out it might be good to invest now, build up your profile and then you cans start using it as a tool to find jobs and such. But if you like what your doing and you’re not a recruiter, you probably don’t need it. If you know you won’t get on it don’t get one. It’ll be a waste of your time to even start the thing

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