December 19, 2008
Your online image
It’s amazing how quickly it’s become part of the candidate screening process to do a Google search. It’s simply part of the must-do checklist for recruiters and hiring managers.
Online personal and professional image, just like everything else, continues to get more complex. Here are the pieces of the puzzle that we have noted, and we’re interested in other aspects that you think are important.
1. Your online profiles. All of your social and professional networking sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) plus the membership associations on which you’ve posted profiles. It’s easy to lose track, so we recommend keeping a master list and updating all of them when there’s a job or career change. We expect that all profiles will tell basically the same story, and it looks less than professional when they don’t. If there’s a site with an account you don’t use anymore, close it.
2. Personal stuff. It’s an inherent part of the experience of social sites to share photos and personal artifacts. Since a potential employer can see anything that’s public, you can use your privacy settings to keep exposure more exclusive when it’s warranted.
3. Expertise and opinions. This is an area where many are currently stumbling. Posting opinions on your own blog, posting on others’ blogs, and reviewing books or events are great ways to heighten your online profile and establish your expertise. There are a couple of pitfalls, however. First, take great care that your posts are as well-written and error-free as possible. Do check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar, as others may judge your eligibility for employment based on what you write. Second, be aware of the effect of displays of attitude. It might feel great in the moment to sound off, but a potential employer might draw a conclusion you wouldn’t like about your fitness for being part of a team.
Please tell us about other aspects of online image that you think are important or that we might be missing.