Digital Dirt, Online Candidate Review and Other Mysteries!

What are recruiters reading about you online? Do you have digital dirt? Is this affecting your job search?

My most popular workshops are on personal branding, social media audits
 and managing your digital dirt. Increasingly, job seekers are also requesting this content during individual, one on one coaching sessions.  Are you prepared?

There aren’t any consistent statistics on how many companies are checking out candidates online and estimates vary from a low of 20% to a high of 50+!'  Many recruiters I've spoken to have admitted to reviewing a candidate online. Job seeker beware!

In Accounting circles we refer to the top firms as the Big 4. In Social Media circles we refer to the top  social sites as the Big 3: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Companies are analyzing whether you are who you say you are and if your online image fits their company image. Your professional image is largely determined by what’s on your LinkedIn profile. Employers will Google you and vet your LinkedIn profile.
Some companies are also using social media skills as a criteria for candidate selection.  Job candidates are being recruited based on the quality of their online, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter contacts. Our parent's generation kept a Rolodex of contacts and business cards. We are now keeping a virtual, Rolodex of contacts and connections on our social media sites.  2 years ago, a recruiter from Best Buy was recruiting my MBA students for a marketing role. One of their pre-screening criteria was a minimum of 250 Twitter Followers! Their rationale was that a candidate need not apply if they haven't met this criteria. It makes sense that a marketer should be adept at communication and personal marketing. Currently, this contagion is spreading beyond the borders of IT, CIS and Social Media jobs.

Thus, I advise my business clients and graduate students to include their LinkedIn URL address in the header section of their resumes. (see my post on Resume Fashions: What’s Hot, What’s Not! (Part I). An online, LinkedIn address is becoming as important an 'address' as a home address.

Google yourself and find out. What is your current online image? Don't have one? What does this say about you?
Author: © 2013 -present. All Rights Reserved – Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Dip.Educ, CPRP. MBA Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist

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