Your Online Image - Flattering or
Frightening? I just got done listening to a podcast where yet another employer
"admitted" to scouring the web to find information about applicants prior
to making a job offer or even meeting for a job interview.
Take a minute this week and Google yourself. What will you find? Is it
flattering or frightening? Do you want potential employers or clients to
see what you see?
Whether your online image needs a tune-up or complete overhaul here are a
few easy places to start.
If you are actively looking for a new job, a promotion, or new customers,
my opinion is that you have two options when it comes to your online
profile pictures. You can post a high-quality, action-oriented picture of
yourself working with a customer or in your workplace. You're second
option is to post a professionally taken headshot portrait of yourself in
attire appropriate to your industry.
Are you posting silly updates about your party last night or rather the
successful programs you've initiated at work or been part of? The content
you post online can tell a fairly accurate story about you. It
demonstrates what you think is relevant, interesting, and important. Would
you like hiring managers and work peers to see that you are on top of
industry events and news or that you fell into the pool at the party last
night because you were intoxicated? Choose your words and posts wisely on
By "position" I don't mean your position at company XYZ. We are talking
about your position on politics, religion, race, etc. Avoid those
conversations online. "But Mike, I am not going to hide who I really am.
My social media outlets are there so I have the freedom to express
myself". If you are looking to build bridges that lead to better jobs I
suggest reconsidering that mindset.
When you want to be taken seriously by customers and employers there is
only one position you should be taking online: you are here to work and
apply your skill sets to growing the customer's or employer's business.
Anything else is just setting yourself up to alienate someone who is more
conservative, or more liberal, or just plain different from you. The
person checking out your online presence has the power to hire you or not.
Don't alienate that person.