— August 15, 2018
Your online presence could be the difference between landing a good exciting role, and not landing it at all. Every company, recruiter, headhunter, will conduct a search for you on Google or other major search engines, so it is important what they find will bolster your chances of landing a role or being headhunted. So what should your online presence contain?
Google Searches for your Online Presence
As stated, future employers, headhunters, and recruiters will Google search your name. Ideally, you want your more professional results to appear near the top on any search engine result. If you take a look at mine, you’ll see that the first two results are for MentorEU and the following one is my LinkedIn profile.
Results on these lines are good.
Where this can be an issue is if there is any negativity in the results. Google your name and take care of negative results quickly.
LinkedIn profiles should be clear, sharp, and readable. This will be scanned by a decision maker, headhunter, or recruiter. So make sure your LinkedIn profile is brilliant and on the money. If you have any questionable content in your LinkedIn profile, remove it.
Social media privacy settings should be looked at closely. It is good practice to set your personal social media accounts to maximum privacy. Remember, however, that if content is shared by others that feature you this may still be discovered. Whenever you make a comment or share content you are effectively putting your name to it. This can cause issues depending on the nature of the content.
It may not be something scandalous, but strong criticism of competitors and indeed political opinions have hindered executives in the past.
Consider Pseudonym Accounts
If you do want to post arguably provocative updates it is a good idea to use a pseudonym account. Although this may seem a little Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, it allows you the freedom to express yourself online without jeopardizing your chances of recruitment and a better life. Just don’t get your professional and personal accounts confused.
Content that May Jeopardise your Career Prospects
In general, try and avoid the following online:
• Using bad language such as swear words
• Strong inappropriate vitriol
• Political opinion
• Insulting or derogatory content against anyone even if the context is humorous
• Anything that can be deemed fake news
Bear in mind that corporations want a safe pair of hands as well as a capable executive. An online presence that gives the impression you have strong opinions and could be a bit of a ‘hot-head’ will count against you.
Keep your professional online presence carbon neutral and use pseudonyms for when you need to go wild.