Current research shows that up to 70% of prospective employers will “Google” you before they extend a job offer, so you need to be sure there’s no digital dirt in your file. Make sure everything about you on the internet is accurate and portrays you in a good light … that you would be happy for your grandmother to see everything that’s out there!
Social Networking – Social networks are great ways to keep in touch with friends and professional colleagues BUT be careful about what’s our there about you.
- A 2008 survey of “Facebook” main pages found that 17% of college students’ photos were “less than appropriate” and nearly half of all accounts had photos that at least some employers might find objectionable. Make sure that your site is the best it can be … and make sure that “tags” on your friend’s photos are appropriate.
LinkedIn is a much better networking site for professional purposes. If you don’t have an account, you should set one up. It’s ideal for professional networking purposes and is much less likely to be a source of bad information.
Twitter and other networking sites are fun, but usually not appropriate for job search activities. And, once again, be careful what you say and post!
Personal Websites, Portfolios, and Blogs
Personal websites are becoming more and more common … excellent ways to showcase your professional background and experience. Quite a few free site-building tools are available and can lead you through the process. One of the best is Weebly.
Online portfolios of your professional work are an absolute must in some professions (especially fine and performing arts, education, and research-intensive fields). You might want to consider building one with a free web tool such as Weebly or Carbonmade and linking it to your LinkedIn profile.
Personal blogs can be lots of fun, but political opinions, religious views, and personal comments will follow you around for a very long time. It’s usually best to leave blogging to the professionals, especially when you’re searching for a job.