Angela Stanton ’16, Advertising Major
Just for fun Google yourself. If you haven’t done it lately, you might be surprised by what you find. You might find old pictures of yourself, school records, twitter comments, or other random information and of course, it never fails that every mug shot, murderer, or porn star with your name will be the first name to pop up on the list.
Your online presence, aka your e-identity, is basically all of your online activities: the good, the bad and the ugly. A good way to look at it is everything you input goes through an online community and produces an output. Because of this, potential employers are now capable of researching job candidates before the interview and are using this information to decide if they even want to meet you for an interview.
This is the #1 reason you should control your online e-identity!
And when it comes to employers a non-existent online presence also says something about you. If you don’t have one you won’t appear to be as relevant and may be passed over by more savvy applicants for the same position.
Here are the top 7 reasons you should control your online presence:
1. Employers are using online platforms to make hiring decisions. The current job market is more demanding than ever. Statistics show that employers are doing more than just looking at your resume. A recent report released by Microsoft shows that 69% of recruiters have rejected applicants based on information they found online. The information ranged from posting inappropriate pictures and comments to lying about their qualifications.
Things to avoid if you are job seeking (Forbes, 2011)
However, it is not all bad! In the same report, 68% of recruiters said that they have hired candidates because of what they saw about them on a social networking site.
It’s not all bad (Forbes, 2011)
2. If you don’t others will. Big data is here and everyone is a part of it. If you don’t start branding yourself now, others will. Putting positive information about yourself and your brand makes you more relevant when you are job searching or building your online network.
3. You are more than a commodity. If you are not actively controlling your online presence than the sites you are using are treating you like a commodity by mining your information. By being a creator of your own online presence you are able to take control of how you are perceived online.
4. Shows skills that get jobs. A well rounded online presence can demonstrate skills to future employers. Online presence is all about show not tell. Having a positive online presence shows a certain amount of effort and showcases the skills you used to create the work. Making a cool infographic resume that showcases graphic design skills and marketing knowledge will surely get the job.
5. Builds personal credibility. The stronger your e-identity is the more credibility you will have in the eyes of any future employer. When you take control of your online presence you can also raise your visibility by connecting yourself to others who have strong affiliations, like PSU!
6. Creativity and passion can help set you apart from other job seekers. Again it is all about showing not telling. Creating an interesting relevant online presence through an e-portfolio, LinkedIn profile, or blog can showcase your creativity and your passion for something. This highlights skills that potential employers are looking for.
7. Builds your online network. Your LinkedIn profile is a great example of an online community that works as a networking tool and a landing page for employers to learn about you. LinkedIn also has a resume builder which will turn your profile into a resume for employers to download. The more online presence you have the more employers will be exposed to you and the more opportunities you will get. If you want to learn more about LinkedIn and how to use it effectively to network please join the Advising & Career Services for a LinkedIn and Networking Workshop on April 25 at 3:00 pm.
Here are some Best Practices/Do’s and Don’ts.
Do include a photo, a video, relevant storytelling, embed your resume, include your blog, be creative,
include your URL, and a link to your e-portfolio in your email signature. Don’t be unprofessional or turn your online platforms into tell all memoirs.
Having a positive e-identity is one of the first steps you can take in preparing for the job search. Controlling your online presence can help you get informational interviews and can help you land the job you have been dreaming about. The School of Business also offers Fearless Friday Workshops every week which are designed to help with all aspects of professional development. Please join us for these future events:
~Angela Stanton ’16, Fearless Senior
Angela Stanton is a senior business student majoring in advertising.
She is also a member of the FIR Advertising student-run agency.