Did you know that approximately 53 percent of employers have admitted to checking Facebook before making hiring decisions? According to careerbuilder.com, another 12 percent said they were planning to start searching a potential employee’s online reputation before making hiring decisions. Of those employers who admitted to research candidates, 43 percent said they rely on search engines like Google to check out candidates. Right now, this sounds like a lot of numbers to process. The bottom line is, you are being probably being “Googled.”
As you get ready to find the internship that is right for you, or prepare for full time employment after your internship, don’t let Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace be the reason you get overlooked. Make these resources work for you. Considering the amount of time spent on social networks, why not make it work for you? Here’s how:
- Google Yourself – It may sound vain but it is the best way to find out your online reputation. Do a search of your complete name, including your middle initial. This will give you an idea of what is already out there in cyberspace about you.
- Collect a list of professional portfolio items you can share. Remember that mock campaign you did for your senior project? Or the PowerPoint presentation you did for your marketing final? Upload it to a site that promotes sharing ideas and connecting with others like SlideShare.
- Create an online portfolio with PDF files, pictures, and videos onto a site like Carbonmade. You can then include a link to the site in your cover letter or to your resume so potential employers can get a more in-depth look at the type of work you are capable of producing.
- Link your profiles together. Include a link to your SlideShare portfolio on your LinkedIn profile and to Facebook or Twitter. This creates a web of links that tie back to you.
- Utilize the vanity URL options on Facebook and LinkedIn which will make your profile more searchable for potential employers.
Most important, get creative! Build a video resume to post on YouTube or start a blog that will show your interest in your field. Taking advantage of the amount of time you spend on your favorite social network will help get your foot in the door by showcasing your personality and set your apart from other applicants.