Wondering why you never got invited to an interview after applying to a job post? You might want to blame Google’s search results for that.
Up to 80% of human resources professionals these days look up candidates on the Internet before inviting them for a job interview. Finding information online that goes against the information on your resume means employers won’t invite you for an interview.
This online-based screening process functions as a faster and cost-effective way for hirers to get to know you before the interview. It’s a way for them to sort out candidates before they send out interview invites.
That’s why it is very important for every candidate to have an online presence that won’t get in the way of them securing a great career. So what do hirers really look for when they look you up online?
1. Your career portfolio
This part of the pre-employment screening process is best illustrated through an example. Let’s say you mentioned that you worked as a “Photographer for *insert magazine title’s here* from 2001-2008” on your resume – a hirer would then verify if that information is true. A quick way to check this is to search for your credentials and output online. Thankfully, most publications these days have online counterparts so it won’t take long for hirers to find your works. However, having your own online portfolio that contains your photos is most ideal. It’s a great way to showcase your best work all in one place. Likewise, your portfolio helps you build your brand. This is especially recommended for those wanting to join creative fields. Take it as a chance to show off what you’re made of by creating your web page, or if you prefer to use a ready-made one, portfolio templates are also available online.
2. Your digital/online footprint
Think of the times where you posted a comment on a blog, or participated in an online discussion – those are your digital or online footprints. According to Webopedia, it is ‘the trail or “footprint” that people leave online, such as emails, uploading videos and other forms of information.” For hirers, reviewing a candidate’s digital footprint is an essential part of the screening process. This may mean going through an applicant’s social media profiles, online affiliations or mentions in online publications. That’s why it helps to survey your digital footprint first before applying for jobs and do the necessary steps to fix problematic areas.
3. Your network
Ever heard of the saying, “It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know”? Having the right connections and ‘glowing recommendations’ while job hunting will tremendously work in your favour, and the same rules apply even online. On the other hand, having links to questionable individuals and organizations will cause hirers to think twice about hiring you. It all boils down to trust. Employers wouldn’t want to risk hiring somebody that can be considered a “liability”, so do think twice about your associations both offline and online. Only align yourself with the right people who will impress hirers.
A final note: These online-based screening procedures that employers conduct should not make you feel discouraged about your hiring chances. Instead, look at them as opportunities to be better and brighter – so follow our advice and always keep them in mind.
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