Congratulations to the class of 2013. After graduation parties and a few days on the beach, it’s time to focus on your career strategy. There are several things you can do over the summer to get a jump on your classmates in what may be your first professional job search.
Are your social media profiles impeding your career progress – or even preventing you from getting the job that you want? When a potential employer clicks over to your Facebook page and sees an embarrassing photo — perhaps from that one crazy night in college — it can kill your interview prospects. It’s a clear and present danger; the Web is rife with articles about What Not to Post on Facebook; in fact, some career experts advise simply removing your social media accounts during your job search process.
Your next job interview is not a matter of life or death, (although it may feel like it to you) but a checklist is a great idea to help you remember important steps no matter how nervous you are.
What are you waiting for?
Your online footprint is an important part of your personal brand. Just like a company selling a product, online is where many people will find you first. You should be aware of the elements you must manage.
75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online.
My friend has updated her profile on LinkedIn and explained to me that the system is encouraging her to include recommendations from others. However, she is happy where she works and is not actively seeking employment elsewhere. She did not want to [incorrectly] signal her current employer that she is trolling for new opportunities, and was concerned what type of impression is generated when someone on LinkedIn includes recommendations from others.
Of course you’re on LinkedIn. Every serious job seeking professional is. LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 120 million members in over 200 countries and territories. According to the site’s founder, professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second. But if you’re like many users, you set up a profile a while ago and haven’t gone back in to update it. The site is adding new features all the time, and if you’ve not been paying attention, you’re missing out on some great opportunities.
You should expect to be Googled and to Google people you’re going to meet. As Broughton mentions in his post, your conversation will be much better much faster if you can say, “I really liked the article you wrote on…” rather than simply commenting on the weather.
You put a lot of thought into your resume. What serious job applicant wouldn’t? All the information you want potential employers to see about you is in there – your job qualifications, your experience, your education, your skills, your interests, your references. It’s all there – tied up in one neat package. But your resume is more than just a collection of dates, places, and facts. It is the self-portrait that you put on display for the world to see. It is the face you show to people who have never met you before. It is you.