Getting a job is different now than it used to be. In this age of social media, the way that people are being screened by companies for jobs is changing. Prior to 2005, the only thing that a company had to judge you from was your resume. A carefully, and hopefully deliberate portrayal of your credentials and skills in a neat, clean package that you would proactively submit to an organization in response to a need they advertised.
So today, you submitted your resume to 3 different jobs and over the next few days you are hoping that some recruiter, somewhere feels the magic that you felt writing that Objective and is compelled to call you in for an interview. You may be agonizing over whether you should have used that Bold Italic for your job titles; or thinking that you should have never included your two month volunteer stint for the Obama campaign.
What you may be failing to consider, is that there’s a hidden layer of screening available to companies, that has nothing to do with your resume.
After you submit your carefully crafted, pristine autobiography to us – we don’t stop at your “Interests/Hobbies” or “References Available Upon Request.”
We dig deeper.
Because we are good at our jobs.
Folks…I’m Googling you.
Stop reading this now. Open up a new tab on your browser and Google yourself. First and Last name in quotes (ex. “Angela Miller”). Take it all in. Click on a few links to see what recruiters see when they are evaluating whether or not you are mature, responsible, sharp, professional and hire-able.
I realize that social media like Twitter and Facebook are portals that the youth (and the not-so-youthful) use to support their personal lives. It doesn’t matter. The reality is – you’re choosing to put it all out there. Regardless of what YOU use it for – you have to respect what WE use it for. And that is, another layer of screening potential employees for our companies.
What am I looking for on these various pages, profiles, blogs, etc…? Scandalous photos of you in a skimpy bikini on the back of boat in Lake Havasu holding a Coors Light obviously under age; the pic your BFF snapped of you passed out with Sharpie all over your face at last night’s party; perhaps it’s the rant on Twitter where you use the F word so much I can’t even tell what you are talking about.
You might be saying to yourself, “That’s not fair – just because I’m beer bonging in my Face Book picture doesn’t mean I would beer bong at work!”
This is very true. But think big picture.
Who I hire reinforces the brand that I represent as a hiring manager. High risk behavior outside of work hours puts my company’s reputation on the line – possibly even my bonus if you end up turning over in under a year. It makes me think maybe you will call in sick every other Monday because you can’t pull it together from the weekend. Or maybe I will have harassment issues because of your filthy mouth. Maybe I’m just plain annoyed by your lack of class and I don’t want to work with someone like that.
My point is – don’t give us reasons to judge anything else other than your credentials – and what you’ve worked hard for. Present yourself online the way you would want the CEO of Google to see you – because he might be looking. Keep your tweets private (yes, you can do that – and we would all appreciate it), and your Facebook profile picture G-rated.
If you are particularly savvy and career minded you would proactively manage your personal brand by starting a Twitter account to regularly tweet about the industry or profession you are in. That’s impressive stuff. When I Google you and find you to be a thought leader in your space, whether it’s Marketing, PR, Law, IT or Nursing – it makes me think you are an “A” player who is invested in being successful in your career and therefore, may bring my company success.