Creating a Strong Digital Footprint That Will Help You Get Hired
According to an article by Forbes,
the traditional resume that we know today will be replaced by your online
presence within the next decade. It’s common knowledge that employers,
recruiters and even admissions officers in universities and schools do a “background
check” on social media. This is to get a better idea of who you are as a
person. They do that as one tends to be more natural on social media. There are
fewer filters and the space is more personal. While a CV may give someone an
idea of your skill set and academic qualifications, social media can give you
so much more. It can reflect your ideologies in life, hobbies, interests, world
views, and even political stances. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending
on your digital presence.
A survey by the research firm, Harris
Poll Online concluded that 52% of employers, “stalk” their candidates on
social media, and 35% of applicants won’t even make the cut to interviews if
they don’t find an online presence. So, if you’re applying for a job, you may
want to do a social media clean up, save the photographs of drunken escapades
for a personal account. Your digital presence may be the reason why you don’t
get a good response to job applications.
Have a Strong Presence on Relevant Platforms
In an interview for CIO.com, Dawn
Edmiston, Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing at the College of William
and Mary stated, “I would definitely
wonder about the background of a tech professional who had zero presence on
social media, rather than the individual who has a well-managed LinkedIn and
Twitter presence, but prefers that their personal social media such as Facebook
remains private,”. Whether you’re in IT, accounting or sales, you must have
a strong presence on all platforms.
Why? Technology is best used to
make people’s lives easier and more fulfilling. If you’re building technology
for people, you need to have a profile that shows that you are people-centric.
Your platforms should be a genuine, and controlled reflection of yourself. You
should give a fair idea of your background, educational qualifications, and
your hobbies or interests. If you feel uncomfortable sharing all this
information, remember that a strong presence will reflect your communication
skills, professional skills, and ideals, all of which are very important to
Become an Ambassador of Your Skills
Did you know that one of the
prime reasons for employers snooping around social media is to fact-check?
Employers scrutinize your educational and occupational qualifications online
and look for red flags. If you’ve lied about anything, you will get caught and
you won’t get the job.
While showcasing your
professional skills -be authentic and genuine. Employers pick up on that. For
eg. while sharing an interesting article about Machine Learning, which happens
to be your area of expertise, be sure to provide your own two bits. This is a
great way to convey both, your professional knowledge as well as your
Reveal the Real You, While being Respectful of Others
If you’re about to go and finally
create that Facebook profile you’ve been putting off for years, only so you can
flood your timeline with articles and videos about whatever it is that you do
for a living, please take a pause. Like our parents would always say, all work
and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So throw in the occasional picture of your
pet or an adorable mother-daughter memory so that you seem more human and less
like a robot! Reveal aspects of your personality other than what you do for a
living. This will boost your profile. Do remember though that what is
appropriate for Facebook may not be so for LinkedIn -so choose carefully!
Create an Experience, Not a Resume
There’s nothing less impressive
than an IT professional with a poorly drafted and presented CV. Employers have
to go through dozens of candidates while making a hire, and that dull, PDF file
will do little to help you stand out. If you take the time to build a website,
brownie points if you have a custom domain, then you will stand out. Also, a
website will give you a chance to really showcase your portfolio in an
interactive and aesthetic way. While mathematics is the building blocks of the
universe, accounting can be a bit drab, make it interesting with your resume!
Show your employer that you are passionate by building a resume that speaks
louder than words. Website resumes are not reserved just for people with
creative jobs, in fact, taking something which may be seemingly boring and
making it fun and interactive is a valuable skill in itself!
Be Selective in What You Share
Before you post that red-eyed
picture of you with a suggestive paper cup in your hand, think of the
consequences. In a survey by Career Builder, research pointed out that 38% of all
employers reject candidates who post pictures with alcohol or drugs. You may also
want to stay clear of divisive issues. If you have an opinion, make sure that to
temper it from the perspective of how you would like to be perceived. There are
some strict no-noes (racism or advocating violence, for example, are more or
less universally frowned-upon) so be mindful.
While it is important to be careful online, don’t
feel too restricted. You can have a personality and be a professional too. The
best professionals have an online presence that’s a combination.
Let’s end with a little food for thought. The IT
industry is said to be the most social-savvy, with 76% of hiring managers resorting
to social media checks during the hiring process. Of this, 48% said they were disapproving
of the content posted by the candidate and rejected them immediately. Clearly,
having a carefully put-together authentic social presence online has now become
Alexander Dieguez is a recent Rutgers University graduate with a major in Communication and minor in History and Anthropology. He currently works as the Communication and Media Specialist for both Aptask and ChainNinja, a blockchain solutions company.