Making A Good First Impression Online
While you might not even think about how your social media can affect your success in finding a new job, making a very positive first impression online has become an essential step in getting called in for an interview or getting the job. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn … are just a few of the ways that an employer can find out about you before the actual first meeting, and with these quick tips, you can make sure your social media profiles and online CV are ready to impress your future employer!
Professional PhotosWhat your employer will immediately see once you send your CV/LinkedIn profile is your picture, so take your time with choosing the perfect photo. Instead of a regular selfie, ask a friend to help you out and take the picture, find a neutral background with good lighting. Have a good, confident and natural pose on the photo (keep your chin up and your back straight), and don’t worry if the first few photos don’t come out the way you planned…taking the perfect professional profile picture takes time.
The Right Makeup & Outfit
Create a natural makeup look (use a sheer coverage foundation, mascara and lip balm, there is no need to create a dramatic or over the top look for your professional photo) Go for a smart casual look (such as a blouse, shirt or blazer dress). These details will all show that you care enough to create a professional photo and will immediately make a better first impression than a random photo from 3 years ago.
A Confident SmileAlthough it’s professional, it’s not a passport photo, so you don’t have to look all serious, don’t be afraid to have a confident natural smile on your profile picture. Just like you don’t want to show off any redness on your skin or dark under eye circles, you’d want your teeth to look white and healthy. Our teeth are one of the first things that people notice, so if you are applying for a customer facing role, you may want to consider a whitening treatment.
Past Employer References
Once you have the perfect profile picture, it’s time to focus on the professional content and polish your CV a bit. A super easy trick that will definitely make your application stand out from the rest is actual past employer references. Besides including your related work experience, ask for a few references (just a few sentences) from your most important past jobs and add these to your CV. Breaking up each reference into smaller parts is a great way to keep your resume interesting and more readable than having a one-page novel from only one employer. For creative positions, you can also include samples of your work or share your own experience and thoughts in a few sentences to make your application more personal.
Networking SkillsOnce you start using LinkedIn, make sure to add everyone you’ve ever worked with, not only employers but clients, colleagues, suppliers etc. This will not only prove that you have relevant experience in that area (as well as in other areas as well), but will also show the employer that you have a good connection with past employers and know how to build professional relationships. It also makes it easier for the employer to view your past experiences.
Personal AccountsOf course, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are meant for personal use, but some employers like to take a look at your personal profiles as well before calling in for an interview, so make sure to manage it in a clever way.
When posting a photo, always think through if you’d like to share it publicly or only with your friends. If you decide to only share it with your friends, your future employer won’t see it right away, so it is a great way to separate your private life from your professional life. While we all tend to forget the public and safety settings sometimes, it is essential to consider what we’d like to share publicly.
Check the photos you post publicly, especially just before the first job interview – there is nothing wrong with looking more casual and having fun on these photos (after all, it is your personal account where you can post whatever you would like to) – but keep in mind that everyone can see them.
Any posts that show you in a state of intoxication, or complaining about your job, boss, colleagues etc, will probably not show you in the most positive light, so it may be worth scrutinising your social media profiles before submitting any applications.
The job market is a competitive place and hiring the incorrect candidate can cost a company thousands. It’s no wonder that number of employers using social media to screen candidates has increased 500 % over the last 10 years and 21 percent admit they’re looking for reasons not to hire the candidate.
So there you have it, when opportunity knocks, make sure you and your Facebook page are ready!