Employers won’t only be looking at your application form and qualifications when they consider whether to invite you in for an interview. Research shows that over half of all recruiters will also search for potential candidates online. It might seem obvious now, but a lot of job seekers forget about this and the results that come up under their name do not reflect what they’d ideally want their future employer to find, and in some cases, could even affect their chances of being invited to interview.
We know what kind of things you definitely don’t want them to find, but what about positive search results? Here are five things that employers are looking for when they Google you.
You might have spent a couple of hours ensuring that your LinkedIn profile highlights your relevant experience. But a lot of people forget about asking previous employers or supervisors to write them a recommendation. It doesn’t have to be long-winded, but the fact that people who you’ve worked with in the past are willing to take time to praise you online goes a long way.
Another endorsement is the kind of connections that you make online. If you are linked to people and companies that they respect, then it will confirm that you’re a suitable candidate.
A professional picture
It can be hard to gauge what a candidate is like from their application alone. They could appear excellent on paper, but most interviewers will also be curious to find out what they look like. Ideally they are looking for a picture that reflects you in working mode, not you on the beach.
Dress like you would for an interview. Get someone else to take the picture rather than using a selfie and make sure that your face can be seen clearly and you’re smiling. Remember, you’re not being judged on looks, but on how approachable and well-turned-out you are.
When you look at your Twitter or Tumblr profile, think about how you would come across to a stranger. You might usually use these networks to speak to friends, but friendly banter might be misconstrued by those who are thinking about hiring you. Arrogance is one of the biggest social media turn-offs for recruiters.
You need to be confident, friendly and above all, genuine. It’s ok if you have a passion for things that aren’t related to your work, such as baking or travelling, as employers aren’t looking for a robot. Be real, but limit the number of pictures of you on a pub crawl.
An online portfolio
Employers searching for you online shouldn’t just be seen as a damage limitation exercise, it’s also a great opportunity to expand on points that you’ve made on your application form. Perhaps you’ve written an article about your internship last year, or simply want to share more information about a great university project you were involved in.
It’s very easy to set up your own website with a portfolio. Many online hosts provide free portfolio templates and it doesn’t cost anything to have a simple web address (usually your name). Not only is it a great chance for employers to browse your work, but they will also be impressed with your digital skills.
Employers want to know that you share the same principles as the company and those who work there. They don’t want to know that you broadcast your dislike for your boss publicly. A great way to show that you have the same values is to share interesting industry news, answer questions and get involved with online discussions.
You can add depth to your application if you take time to create an online profile that reflects your professional personality and allows employers to learn more about your experience and what makes you the right fit for the company.
If you’re currently preparing your online profile and considering applying for graduate jobs then you should find out more about the great Graduate Management Trainee programme we offer here at Enterprise.