Re-entering the workforce can be overwhelming – whether you are switching careers or returning to the job market after an extended absence. If you’re back on the job hunt, you aren’t alone – according to LinkedIn, “30% of the global workforce is currently made up of active job seekers.” When applying for jobs, many focus on fixing up their resume – but neglect to polish their online reputation. “While the average job posting attracts 250 applications, only 2% of applicants will be called for an interview.” Your online reputation will be a critical factor in whether you make the cut.
The internet has changed the way companies screen candidates. According to CareerBuilder.com, 70% of employers use social media to screen job applicants. On top of that, 57% are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online. It’s clear that having a negative online presence (or not having one at all) is a huge detriment to your chances of landing a job.
“Most workers have some sort of online presence today– and more than half of employers won’t hire those without one,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “This shows the importance of cultivating a positive online persona. Job seekers should make their professional profiles visible online and ensure any information that could negatively impact their job search is made private or removed.”
An internet search of your name should showcase you as a professional. Profiles on resume sites such as LinkedIn should be up-to-date and near the top of search results. Look for positive content like press coverage of professional endeavors, and watch out for any negative information that may damage your reputation. If something you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see appears on the first few pages, you may need to hire a reputation expert to assist you in repressing it.
When re-entering the workforce, it is crucial to take inventory of your social media profiles. Review all your social platforms through the eyes of an employer. Would you want to hire you? Delete or untag any potentially harmful content. Fill your page with information that backs up the information and skills listed on your resume.
A reputation management firm can assess your online presence, and assist you in developing a strategy to improve your overall professional profile. If your online reputation is in need of repair, defense, or management, a reputation consultant can help. Enhancing your online reputation before re-entering the workforce will set you up for success.