Create the Right Impression to Help Your Career
Are you a current student about to apply for an internship? Or, have you recently completed your degree and are now getting ready to take the leap into professional work? Either way, you need to ensure that you create the best possible impression to a prospective employer, and it all starts with your online profile. Do you have a LinkedIn, Facebook or GradConnection profile? If so, you need to portray the image that you want your potential boss to see.
I recently sat down with a new graduate who had reached the final stage of the interview process and was told that the company was going to be performing a background check. After doing a basic Google search, the first thing that popped up was this person’s Facebook page with the profile picture of her drinking an oversized bottle of champagne! Now, before you run off and begin deleting every picture that has ever existed of you on Facebook, you can also use certain pictures to help you create the right impression. Pictures from you graduation or performing extra-curricular or volunteer work should be made as public as possible.
3 Tips on Creating the Right Impression
Ensure that all of your online profiles are up-to-date and consistent. Go back and read through all of them and make sure that the dates are consistent. I have worked with many candidates who have a fantastic resume, but their LinkedIn or GradConnection profile has been written hastily and does not match the resume. These types of simple errors can put doubt in a hiring manager’s mind, and with competition for jobs in such demand you do not want to give any excuse to raise red flags on you as a candidate.
Advertise your Achievements and Values
There is no point in having a public profile if you're not going to market your achievements and the value-added skills you can bring to a job. Ensure that your public profile is as complete as possible. Utilise keywords (strategic selection of keywords and phrases designed to highlight your public profile). If you're an Accounting student, for example, you need to make sure that your public profile is full of “accounting words”. When a hiring manager does a search you want your profile to show up! The more complete your public profile, the greater the chance of it being noticed.
Read the Privacy Settings
Each social networking site has different privacy settings and while this section of a website can often appear daunting, it’s important as a job seeker that you have an understanding of what information, pictures or details are private or public. As mentioned, making your graduation pictures as public as possible is a great way to create a strong impression.
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