Potential employers may research you online –The Bagg Group offers tips to make a good virtual impression


You just never know.   It could be that one day the resume as we know it will go the way of the dinosaur.  Instead, recruiters will conduct online searches to turn up profiles of people who match their needs.  

Last year, a US survey of human resource experts shows that 36% of respondents believe that it’s likely that resumes will eventually be replaced by profiles on social and business networking sites, such as Facebook and Linkedin.

But that day is not here yet.  For now, a good resume is still essential if you’re looking for full-time work, contract work, or temporary placements in the GTA.

However, you still need to make sure you have a positive online presence to impress hiring managers.  That’s because there’s a chance that if they like your resume, they’ll look up your name on the internet.   

As many as 79% of recruiting professionals in the US who responded to a 2010 Microsoft survey said they do online research on candidates whom they are considering for jobs.

The large majority (85%) of recruiters said that a positive online reputation influences their decision to hire the candidate.

However, it’s especially important for job-hunters to know that a whopping 70% said they had rejected candidates because they didn’t like what they saw when they found them online.

Dan Schawbel, writes in Forbes magazine blog that nowadays, “your responsibility is to guard and manage your reputation like it’s the most sacred thing in the world.”  Recruiters at The Bagg Group couldn’t agree more.

We live in an era where it’s common to post enormous amounts of private, informal, information about ourselves.  On social network sites and in our personal blogs, we share pictures that we wouldn’t dream of showing to an interviewer.  We tell stories, make comments, post jokes, and give status updates that we would not want to serve as our introduction to a potential employer.

That’s why at The Bagg Group, we urge candidates to follow these tips:

  • Set your privacy settings on all social networking sites, such as Facebook, to allow access to friends only. When job searching in the GTA, only people who know you should be able see your profile page.  To maximize your Facebook security, check out the tips in this New York Daily News article Worried about your Facebook privacy? Six things you should know.
  • Your profile picture will show up in a name search on Facebook. You don’t want that picture to hurt your professional reputation.  When job hunting, it’s not the time to post a shot of yourself in a bathing suit, puffing on a cigarette, waving an empty bottle of tequila.  
  • If you have any videos of yourself on Youtube, ask yourself if they could possibly make a bad impression. Err on the side of caution and remove any which you are unsure about.  And remember, you can’t be sure that potential employers will share your sense of humour.
  • If you write a personal blog, don’t write anything you wouldn’t want an interviewer to read.  Avoid all rants and swear words. These won’t help your case.  Instead, they could make possible employers worry about how you’d handle difficult situations at work.
  • Update your profile on professional social marketing sites, such as Linkedin.  Devote time to connecting with as many other professionals as possible and asking for recommendations.  

Consider that when potential employers look you up on the internet, they are interviewing you, without you knowing it.   They’re doing research to help them determine if you’re the right fit for their company.  In a face-to-face interview, you take control of your image.  It only makes sense to do the same online.

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