Job hunting in the digital age

Job hunting in the digital age

Technology is impacting job hunting in a big way. This month’s guest blogger Vera Marie Reed explains how to establish a professional online presence, and how to rise to the challenge of a video interview. And with a fantastic infographic too!

Graduates completing a degree program in search of employment face a very different process today. Gone are the days when an impressive résumé was enough to land the perfect job. Social media impacts many aspects of modern life – including furthering your career. With the following key pointers, graduates can separate themselves from the broad mass of applicants and attract the right employment attention.

Establish a professional social media presence

Instead of shrinking away from social media, leverage the available tools at your fingertips to expand your network and increase the chances of meeting the right employer. Research shows that 75% of recruiters will review a candidate’s digital profiles and 70% of those recruiters have rejected someone based on what they’ve found. Neglecting your online persona can be a costly and frustrating mistake.

If you’ve used the Internet with your real name in any way, you’ve left a digital footprint. The best way to crowd out the unprofessional references would be to establish a professional presence. Change or modify your name on any social media sites where your posts might depict an unfavourable representation of your interests and activities. Consider shutting down accounts that may contain excessive objectionable content – at least temporarily. If nothing else, keep your social media postings set to private.

Next, set up a LinkedIn account if you haven’t already done so. Complete your profile with as much information as possible to give potential employers a well-rounded overview of your skills, education, and experience. When asked, 89% of recruiters say they have hired someone from LinkedIn. Make sure you add a professional photo and complete the skills category portion of the profile.

LinkedIn fosters the same community building and resource sharing aspect prevalent in all popular social media sites. While interacting with your community online, be sure your postings are relevant to your industry or are professional in nature.

Smile, you’re on camera

The use of video is beginning to pervade the job search process. Candidates are increasingly using video résumés to make their applications or profiles leave a greater impact. Some employers request a short video message to accompany any completed application packet. When recording a video, be sure to practice, review the final file for mistakes, and clear the background area of any distracting noises, items or clutter. Make your video presentation as polished as possible so that it presents you in the best light. Proper grooming and attire are also important. You wouldn’t show up to an interview in your sweats and t-shirt. Treat your video résumé as you would an in-person interview.

Video interviews are also become more common. They come in two flavors: face-to-face or one-way. Before conducting either type, test out your connections prior to the scheduled appointment. Make sure that you’re able to log in, connect, and have the appropriate equipment for the call. Practice with a friend ahead of time. Pay close attention to grammar, posture and again grooming. You never get a second chance to make the very best first impression.

Social media is changing the way we network and communicate. We have access to employment possibilities that take us far beyond any geographic boundaries of the past. Take advantage of the benefits without letting the unintended consequences work against you.

Infographic: reputation, résumés and video interviews