When job hunting, there are a few things that induce panic in most candidates: the resume, the CV and the interview. When preparing these items, candidates might feel a creeping temptation to lie or embellish items on a resume or CV in order to seem more qualified for the desired position. Unfortunately for those who give in, this fluff hardly ever goes unnoticed and tends to hinder the job finding process rather than help. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 58% of employers report finding lies on resumes which leads them to seek out other resources for fact verification and may disqualify a candidate all together. This is where your digital footprint may end up stepping on your credibility.
Because of the recurring problem of lying and embellishing items on resumes, many employers and recruiters are seeking out other sources of information to decide whether or not to hire a candidate. These sources are known as a candidates “digital footprint” and include things like social media presence and activity.
To help you best position yourself as a viable candidate through your digital footprint, we’ve composed a short list of pointers that can help you improve the way you appear on your social channels.
- Search your name on Google. Employers and recruiters will definitely do this. You’ll want to see exactly what they see. This is what we mean by your digital footprint. Everything you do leaves a trace. Make sure the information shown first is professionally relevant for you and if there is anything you’d rather not be there, reach out to see if you can get the information taken down.
- Create professional profiles. It seems logical to do this on LinkedIn, but you can also create professional profiles on your Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
- Be Open. Once you’ve created your professional accounts, remember to keep them open. Having private profiles will not help improve your digital footprint or help recruiters and employers get to know you.
- Network and Engage. Use your professional profiles to follow and connect with companies you are interested in on LinkedIn and Twitter so you can be notified of new job openings and other news. This will also be valuable if asked about the company during an interview. Don’t forget to add your professional connections!
- Be a resource. Offer useful articles, answer questions and participate in conversations to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry you are hoping to work in. This is called gaining social capital. Having a large number of followers may be a valuable addition to a client or company you are trying to work for.
By following these guidelines you can be on your way to developing a professional and presentable digital footprint and get that new job you’ve been searching for without having to lie or embellish items on a resume or CV.
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