You’ve probably heard it before: reputation is everything.
When you’re looking for a new job, it matters even more. Just like consumers might judge a company based on its online reviews or mentions in the media, employers may analyze your online presence and how you carry yourself on paper and in person.
In order to improve how you present yourself to others so you can increase your likelihood of being hired, pay attention to these areas that can affect your personal brand.
Social Media Presence
Most employers today screen candidates via social media. An October 2020 survey by The Harris Poll found:
- 67% of U.S. hiring decision-makers use social networking sites to research potential job candidates.
- 71% of hirers think looking at applicants’ social profiles is an effective way to screen candidates.
- 70% believe employers should evaluate all applicants’ profiles.
It’s safe to assume that if you apply for a job, a hirer is going to Google you and search for you on sites like Instagram and Twitter. Employers look at social media to spot potential red flags, see if the candidate’s personality might be a cultural fit, check out common connections, and a whole host of other reasons.
The majority of Americans use at least one form of social media, according to an April 2021 report by Pew Research Center. If you fall into this category and you’re applying for jobs, consider the following.
- Do you want your profiles to be private or public? You might not be comfortable with employers seeing your content publicly, so turn on the private option if you want. Some people want their profiles to be public because they help build their authority as subject matter experts. Consider how visible you want your content to be.
- Ensure public content is appropriate and not offensive. Content like nudity, violence, politics, religion, and profanity could all turn off an employer. Make sure you’d be comfortable with an employer looking at your profile handle, profile photo, profile bio, and posts. You may want to go back and delete posts you’re not comfortable with, including posts you’ve made on other people’s profiles.
- Curate who you follow. The accounts you’re affiliated with may also reflect on your personal brand. For example, if you follow an account that posts inappropriate messaging, you may be deemed guilty by association.
You may have grown your social networks over a decade or longer. Going backward to remove content you’re not proud of can be time-consuming.
Going forward, it’s easier to ask yourself before every social media post, “Is this something I’d be comfortable with my future employer seeing?”
Your resume is an opportunity for you to summarize yourself professionally to a hiring manager. You don’t have much time to make an impression. According to research presented by Zety, recruiters take an average of 6 seconds to scan a resume. Corporate job openings attract an average of 250 resumes for each position.
On your resume, resume writing services provider HiConsulting Services recommends avoiding the following.
- Spelling and grammar errors
- Use of filler words and passive voice
- Confusing writing
- Overused words and repetition
Errors like these may cause a recruiter to view you as someone who doesn’t pay attention to detail or as someone who might make errors on the job. That can majorly impact your personal brand.
Since you may only have a minute or less to grab a hirer’s attention, consider featuring a strong summary statement and selected personal accomplishments. Formatting these higher in your resume may compel a hirer to keep reading.
You’ll also want to ensure your resume layout is easy to read and is compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which are resume-reading software. ATS may filter out resumes that are lacking certain keywords or that aren’t formatted properly. Simple layouts work best with ATS.
Your resume represents you on paper. Your interactions with a hiring team can also impact your reputation as a candidate and your personal brand.
In emails, phone conversations, and follow-ups after interviews, do the following when you communicate with a potential employer.
- Be professional. You don’t want typos in your resume. You don’t want them in emails you’re sending, either. Before you send an email, a text, or a chat message to anyone in the hiring department, read over what you’re sending so that it’s free of spelling and grammar errors.
- Show respect. Be courteous and polite in your interactions. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Show gratitude.
- Be proactive. Following up after an interview can be a sign that you take initiative, which an employer may like. Send a thank-you email for the hirer’s time, which can help you stay at top-of-mind during the hiring process.
An August 2020 study by LinkedIn found communication was the most in-demand skill in the current workforce. Keep that in mind, since it also reflects on your personal brand.
Boost Your Personal Brand to Help You Get a Better Job
Every interaction you have and every message you post online helps to shape your personal brand. In today’s highly connected world, it’s important to make sure the person you’re showing the public and employers is one you’re proud of and who represents you as a professional candidate.
If you’re looking for a new role, AccruePartners has hundreds of jobs available now throughout the United States. View open job positions in areas like information technology, accounting, and finance, digital and creative, HR, corporate support, and more.