How Does Your Online Presence Affect Your Resume? 

How Does Your Online Presence Affect Your Resume? 

In today’s digital age, your online presence significantly influences various aspects of your life, particularly during job hunting. As employers increasingly explore the internet to gain insights about potential candidates, how do you ensure your personal online profiles show off your most professional side?

This article will explore how your digital footprint can impact your job search and career prospects and provide suggestions for best practices regarding your online presence.

 

Check Your Current Footprint 

Gone are the days of assuming recruiters only skim your LinkedIn profile. In today’s digital age, a simple Google search can reveal much about you beyond what’s on your resume. Your social media presence encompasses more than just platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; it extends to discussion networks like Reddit and review platforms like Yelp.

To discover what employers might find, try Googling yourself:

  • Start by logging out of your regular browser or using a browser you don’t typically use. This ensures that your search history does not influence the results.
  • Next, search for your name, and consider looking for variations such as your Name + City and Name + Occupation to get the most comprehensive results.

 

Pay close attention to search results associated with your name, particularly those on the first page, since that’s typically as far as most people look. Assess whether the results portray you as a professional or if they convey a negative image.

 

Your Online Image Should Be an Asset, Not a Liability 

Employers are increasingly checking social media when considering job applicants. In fact, Zippia reports that 70 percent of employers use social media to assess potential employees, and 54 percent have rejected candidates based on their social media content.¹

Related Reading: How to Leverage Social Media in Your Job Search 

A negative online reputation creates an unfavorable initial impression for potential employers and has the potential to harm your personal brand. Fortunately, you can enhance your online image by following these steps:

 

1. Restrict the audience for your posts.

Utilize the privacy features in your social media accounts to control the audience that can view your shared content. On platforms like Facebook, you can opt for settings such as “Friends only.” Always choose this option to prevent employers from accessing your posts.

Keep in mind that posts from others mentioning you will still be accessible. It’s advisable to communicate with individuals in your social circles, requesting them to untag you or remove any unfavorable or inappropriate posts.

 

2. Review your pictures.

Make sure there are no unprofessional images of yourself. A helpful guideline is to avoid photos depicting behavior that might be inappropriate or could cast you unfavorably.

 

3. Consider your posts before publishing.

To maintain an impeccable online reputation, refrain from sharing anything that you might regret later. Once posted, it’s beyond your control, and even if deleted, it could still exist as a screenshot on someone else’s device.

Consider the following before clicking “post”:

  • Is this content suitable for sharing in a professional environment? Consider whether you’d feel at ease with everyone in an office setting seeing your post. For instance, sharing pictures of your baby niece’s pumpkin Halloween costume is acceptable, but it’s best to keep pictures of costumes or activities that might be considered inappropriate for a workplace setting.
  • Is this a statement expressing criticism about my job? Avoid speaking negatively about your job, even on platforms that guarantee anonymity for this purpose. You could unintentionally disclose details in your complaint that give away your identity. Complaining about your work suggests you’re not a collaborative team member and don’t appreciate your role.
  • Could this negatively impact my company’s reputation? If you’re currently working, you likely have an online association with your company on its website or your personal social media profiles. Remember, your online actions reflect on your employer. Be cautious not to post content that could harm your company’s image.
  • Is this true? Not fact-checking what you share online might cause others to see you as careless or unprofessional. If your current boss or hiring manager sees you sharing incomplete or misleading information, it could diminish your chances of securing a promotion or a new job. To maintain a positive online image, it’s essential to verify every story before sharing, using fact-checking sites or reputable news outlets.

 

 

4. Delete unfavorable content.

Negative content comes in two forms: content you’ve shared, and content posted by others about you. Deleting problematic posts from your own social media is relatively simple, but persuading others to remove content can be challenging. Websites are often not legally obliged to delete content upon request.

However, if the content breaks the website’s Terms of Service or aligns with Google’s removal policy requirements, you have a good chance of having it down. For detailed instructions on removing negative content, you can search guides like “How to remove an article from the Internet” 

 

5. Address and fix any inaccurate information.

If you find inaccuracies in the search results associated with your name, such as information about another person with the same name, it’s crucial to bring this to the attention of the company you’re applying to. This ensures you’re not unfairly judged for someone else’s mistakes.

By addressing and clarifying these discrepancies, you contribute to presenting a more accurate and fair representation of yourself during the application process. It emphasizes your commitment to transparency and integrity, reinforcing the accuracy of the information potential employers consider.

 

Maintain a Reputable Presence Online 

Job experts agree that they form their initial impression of job applicants well before any interviews, whether online or in person. Knowing this, it’s smart to take control of what recruiters find out about you online, even before you apply for a job.

 

Build your own brand.

To fix a bad online reputation, focus on making the things you want others to notice appear higher in Google search results for your name. You can post and update your creations, like posts or pictures. This is important because the things you make usually appear near the top of search results for your name. So, make sure to share and update things regularly.

Some ways to produce content include:

  • Participate in social media groups associated with your industry. Make sure to comment and post regularly to demonstrate your active involvement and knowledge of industry topics. Additionally, participating in these discussions will contribute to expanding your professional network.
  • Create a blog. Secure a professional-sounding domain name, such as FirstnameLastname.com, and use your expertise in the field to create blog posts. You can also write about a hobby or a neutral topic if it portrays you positively and highlights your skills.
  • Expand and enhance your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn frequently appears as the first result in online searches for job seekers, making it essential to stay active on the platform and make the most of its various features, such as networking, endorsements, and recommendations. This can provide valuable tools to boost your professional image and credibility in the job market.

 

Related Reading: Standing Out On Paper: 5 Helpful Tips to Creating the Ideal Resume 

 

Optimize your resume for better results.

Aim for employers conducting online searches to discover information showcasing your skills and achievements. Achieving this involves ensuring your resume is easily readable and readily searchable online.

  • Customize it to match the role that you want. Emphasize keywords related to the job and industry you are targeting. For instance, if you are a CPA seeking an accounting position, highlight your education and accounting experience. Clearly state your desired role and industry in the opening of your resume, ensuring that keywords like “accountant” and “financial” are prominently featured.
  • Publish it online. After ensuring everything is in order, make it accessible. A great starting point is LinkedIn, where the resume function enables you to revise and refresh your experience and work details, making it easily searchable. The more effortlessly your digital resume can be located, the more effective it will be.
  • Add links. Incorporate links to pertinent information available on the internet into your digital resume. For instance, if a magazine featured a project you spearheaded, provide a link to guide employers to coverage of your achievements.

 

Related Reading: 9 Resume-Building Tips to Stand Out from the Crowd 

 

Managing Your Online Image 

Social media serves as an extension of your identity, and despite cyberspace’s virtual nature, your online presence can impact your professional life. When generating and posting content on your social media accounts, pause to contemplate how it might be perceived beyond your immediate circle of friends.

If a prospective employer were to encounter it during a screening, could it jeopardize your prospects of securing a significant job opportunity? If the answer is yes, consider refraining from sharing it altogether or establishing separate profiles for personal posts and ensuring their privacy settings are enabled.

Regular maintenance reflects your professionalism and keeps your online presence current and appealing to those who may come across it.

Related Reading: Job Interview Honesty: 4 Ways to Be Sincere Without Sounding Negative 

 

BUILD YOUR PROFESSIONAL IMAGE WITH DAVIS COMPANIES

Take charge of your online narrative today—polish your profile, curate your content, and shape the digital image that opens doors to new opportunities. If you need assistance, DAVIS Companies will help you find professional, technical, IT, manufacturing, and engineering roles.

Contact us today, and let’s enhance your online presence and showcase your full potential.

 

Reference 

1 Flynn, Jack. “15+ Essential Social Media Recruitment Statistics [2023]: How Effective Is Social Media Recruiting?” Zippia, 9 Jul. 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/social-media-recruitment-statistics/.

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