Interview preparation now involves more than a clean and carefully ironed outfit. In an increasingly online world, job candidates need to be aware of how their internet presence can affect their employment chances. Employers routinely screen job seekers using their online presence to eliminate unsuitable applicants.
At Careerwise, our recruitment experts are here to make the job hunt process as smooth as possible. Here is our guide to curating your personal online brand to ensure the best chances of career success…
Avoid red flags
Preparation is key to avoiding a bad impression. Ahead of applying for any jobs, go through your social media and check:
– inappropriate photos are removed or hidden
– late night rants you now regret are taken down
– review your privacy settings. If there is content you would like to retain, but is of a more personal nature, you should ensure it is not set to “public”.
– Remove anything explicit or controversial
– Remember to go all the way back through your timelines – even if it takes a lot longer. A prospective employer might just want to see what you were up to in 2010, and you might regret it!
Create the right impression
Although it may seem like the online world is full of pitfalls, the solution is definitely not absence. A lack of online presence will set alarm bells ringing for any employer, creating the impression that you have either something to hide, or are out of touch with the modern world. Instead, draw a line between your personal and professional personas, keeping work based networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter well managed and public, but perhaps setting your Facebook to private.
Curate your brand
Most prospective employers will take a clean online presence as a given for any serious job seeker. The strongest candidates will go beyond simply avoiding red flags, and will have used their online presence to create a clear and appealing personal brand that specifically appeals to employers in their chosen area of specialism. Employers are keen to get a sense of a candidate’s true personality, and so job seekers should try and create:
– A likeable personality – do you network in an easy, friendly manner? Are you connected to like-minded people on professional networks such as LinkedIn? This can demonstrate that you are a team player who will fit in to a new workplace well.
– Appropriate connections – consider the groups you are networking with. Will they play well in an employment context? If you are involved with something that is less socially acceptable, either disassociate yourself, or use an alias for online involvement.
– A consistent public persona – curate your feeds. Look back over your comments and consider how they will sound to a prospective employer. Are you habitually pleasant or do you tend to argue? Employers will note these traits, so use your online presence to present a friendly, polite image to the world.
– Private life – No-one expects you to remove all trace of your social life from social media. But do consider what kinds of activities will be acceptable to a prospective employer. This can also relate to the type of work you are seeking. If you want to work in hospitality, an interest in food would seem appropriate; if you are a scientist, sharing relevant articles with similarly minded friends or groups would demonstrate a genuine interest in your field. But if you want a job in a smart office, sharing your weekend’s jelly wrestling adventures might not create the right impression!
– Alignment of values – Consider the culture of your ideal place of work. You may not agree with everything that entails, but you could refrain from posts that directly contradict your potential company’s values. A clear difference in ideals is sure to put off a prospective employer.
With a little preparation, it is possible to create an online presence that reinforces and supports your job applications, and is a real asset during the recruitment process.
Are You Looking For A Job In Ireland?
CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Shannon, Galway, Mayo and Dublin and we can help you to find your ideal new job in Ireland. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you. Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0)21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.
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