If you’re a student, or even a professional looking for work, it’s very important to know what the Internet has to say about you.
Here’s a quick test.
Go to Google, and type in the your name in quotation marks.
Look at the first page of results.
There should be plenty of information on there which presents you in a positive light. There certainly shouldn’t be any negative information.
If you have a really common name, you might need to refine the search in a similar way to a potential employer would. Add your town, city or university to the search, or search by your email address or any online handles that you use and are easy to find.
This isn’t theoretical. Recent research showed that over 90% of employers searched for people looking for graduate jobs online before they could employ them (or, in many cases, even invite them to interview). If the information you want them to read isn’t there, then you just won’t get the professional jobs that you’re looking for.
Even more challenging?
Many employers bypass Google now and go directly to Facebook. The Facebook search options makes it very easy to find out more about candidates.
You need to treat all your socal media profiles as being in the public eye, because that’s what they are.
And, if employers can’t find out anything about you, what does that say?
To many employers, it says that you have something to hide.
To others, it’s that you just aren’t bothered about whether people can find out about you online.
Neither of those are good traits to potential employers.
Professional Presence Workshop
To find out more about social media, professional presences, and how these impact on employability, check out the Professional Presence Workshop at Birmingham City University. Places are free for academics interested in teaching these skills to students, but limited.
Do share your thoughts about the importance of an online professional presence in the comment area below.