For most, September feels more like the start of a new year than January. Maybe it’s because of the harvest moon, or maybe it’s because we have muscle memory from years of starting a new school grade, with blank exercise books. Whatever the reason, September comes with a sense of new possibilities –and that includes finding a new job in the GTA or anywhere in Canada.
Preparing for a job hunt? Prepare to be Googled
In surveys, more than 80% of candidates say they expect recruiters and hiring managers to check out their names on a search engine. But, here’s the shocker ….only 33% say they have bothered to search for information on themselves. Wait, what?
Remember how hard you worked to create the right look for your start of a school year? This September, think about updating again. But this time, focus on your resume and making sure your online profile sends the right message.
Whether you are job-hunting or employed, put your name in a search engine. What comes up?
- Look at what you find through the eyes of a hiring manager or a boss.
- Imagine you are a hiring manager, and ask yourself, “Does this person’s images and posts make them seem smart, reliable, trustworthy? Do they seem right for my company?’
The Bagg Group Staffing Services by GardaWorld has four busy divisions — Bagg Professional, Bagg Managed Resources, Bagg Technology Resources, and Turn Key Staffing Solutions. Together, we place people in almost every industry, in full-time, contract or temporary work.
We meet with hiring managers every day at companies where you want to work. All confirm it is standard practice for to enter the name of potential employees into search engines.
It is done all over world. In 2017 in the US, a Harris Poll survey found 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. In 2019, we estimate that it’s closer to 95%.
Bottom line: What you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. matters. A lot!
The Bagg Group Tips for Managing Your Online Profile
- Go private and go safe
Think of it this way: You wouldn’t invite a potential employer, who doesn’t know you, to drop in at your blow-out birthday bash – so make sure they don’t do just that online.
How you use your privacy settings tells a story too. If you don’t set your privacy settings to ensure only friends can access your page, employers will worry that you’re not more careful.
From an employer’s perspective, the thinking is this: “If it’s not second nature for you to protect your privacy and reputation, how likely are you to care about your company’s confidentiality?”
- Take care with tags and retweets!
Again, consider privacy first. The problem with getting tagged in pictures is that it takes control of your reputation out of your hands. Be prepared to remove tags of yourself.
- Don’t forget, there really are six degrees or less of separation
Even if you have your personal social media profiles locked down, you may still have people in your friend group who either work in your field or know others that do.
So before you let loose with a frustrated or disrespectful comment on any social network about an experience or encounter related to your current work or to your job-search, ask yourself if you really need to click post.
We all need to vent – but that’s why phones still have a call function! The phone still has its uses, even if you feel it’s old school. If you had a disappointing interview or an upsetting exchange, it helps to talk about it. But the key word is talk.
Bagg Group recruiters are all highly skilled listeners. We even win awards for it. We recognize that everyone can use a sympathetic ear from time-to-time. When that’s the case, our recruiters urge candidates to pick up the phone and speak to a trusted friend or relative for support
Say it (to a friend), don’t post or tweet it to the world: As experts in the people business, we know that a single two-way conversation with a friend can do a lot more for you than writing 100 discontented posts ever could. If you channel your negativity into tweets and posts, it can come back to haunt you. But talk it out with a friend –and you can speak freely with no worries or repercussions and feel better for it.
- Set up a LinkedIn and professional Facebook page
According to the 2017 Harris poll, 57% of employers said they were less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online.
A LinkedIn page is designed for professional networking and is invaluable for job hunters.
A professional Facebook page can be a smart tactic. When people who may be interested in working with you do a search, they’ll see a page that gives them free access to your professional interests – instead of your personal life.
This is called “reputation management” and it pays off for candidates!
Bagg Group tips for an impressive professional page
- Post articles and updates about trends and news in your industry.
- Follow professional sites, people and organizations that support your professional brand.
- Participate and support causes tied to your professional interest.
- Share positive discussions and post kudos to those contributing to your professional field, and avoid negative discussions.
- Post pictures about volunteer work that enhances your professional brand.
Reminder: Your friends on Facebook are also a good source of networking for you so it doesn’t hurt to share some interesting posts about your work interests on your personal page as well.
Gene Hayden, author of The Follow-Through Factor: Getting from Doubt to Done (Random House), is a career coach who has helped hundreds successfully put their best foot forward at interviews and in the workplace. She is also writer-in-residence for The Bagg Group.
Google image by Simon Steinberger at Pixabay