Boost Your Online Credibility
There are a lot of strategies to help you accelerate your job search and land a position. What’s been your strategy?
If your approach has been to scatter your resume wide and far with no real job target, then the likelihood of landing your ideal job is slim to none. I would recommend a more targeted approach that requires some work to get yourself prepared for a job search so you can position yourself in the best way possible and leads to success in the hiring process.
The first thing I advise you to do is take a close look at how you show up online.
How are you showing up online?
One of the reasons why this is so important is because we find people online now more than offline – we are our Google Results. Your digital footprint or online presence can either boost your credibility or harm it. Your digital brand is about who you are and how other people see you. It’s in your best interest if you are looking for your ideal job or wanting to attract your targeted companies that you know exactly how you are showing up online. Consider how it’s going to help you as a job seeker, leader, or entrepreneur?
- Who do you want to be known for?
- How do you want to be seen by your ideal community?
- What are your goals for being found online?
I recently helped a client who had been job searching for over a year and was feeling defeated because she wasn’t getting hired. She couldn’t figure out why this was happening to her because her resume got her interviews, and her interviews seemed to go well, but she never received a job offered.
The first thing I assessed was if her marketing materials (resume, cover letter, online profile) and digital brand were congruent to amplify her credibility to land the job.
Why boost your online credibility?
Because the importance of having a consistent and professional online presence is essential if you want to be seen by a recruiter and receive other opportunities that will open new doors for your career.
CareerBuilder did a Recruiter study and found that:
- 30% of HR departments have a dedicated social recruiter
- 70% are using social media to screen
- 57% are less likely to interview if no online presence
- 54% have decided not to hire based on social media
So, I took my client, through a 5-Step Career Clean-up Process so that she could put her best self forward online and offline, and as a result, she finally landed her ideal job!
Studies show that employers and clients will Google you before deciding to work with you – and what they find directly impacts your career opportunities.
STEP 1: EGO SURF
Google yourself – The chances are that someone like a coworker, friend, or potential employer is Googling you right now.
Do you know what information they’re able to find about you?
There is a right way to do this and it’s a critical first step that will support the other 4 Steps in the 5 Step Career Clean-Up Process:
- Set your browser to incognito or private mode and log out of your Google accounts. It is essential because when you use incognito mode when searching via Google, you get results that are not impacted by your search history.
- Use variations of your name, including misspellings and nicknames, use quotations and modifiers such as the city that you live in – “Teena Evert Denver Colorado.” There may be other people with the same name, so it’s critical to manage your personal and online reputation.
- Search the first five pages of Google and search for images, videos, blogs, and news. People are Googling you, so you must understand what they see to help you build and manage your online reputation.
Are the search results showing you in a positive light, is it true or false, and is it relevant? Can they find the real you easily?
Monitor your results regularly.
STEP 2: GET GOOGLE ALERTS
Set up Google Alerts for your name so you can monitor where you are showing up online. You want to watch for negative mentions of your name or brand, track any key terms within your industry of interest to watch for changes or trends, etc.
Google Alerts is free, quick, and easy to set up. Here’s how it works:
- Go to google.com/alerts. Make sure you’re logged in with the Google account you want to use.
- Choose your keywords. Try to make them unique.
- Select the frequency. The choice here is really “real-time or when I have time?” If you want to receive notifications in close to real-time, select “as it happens.”
- Choose your sources. Google Alerts doesn’t cover social media, but you can choose whether to track news, blogs, videos, or even books.
The next step in the Career Clean-Up Process will help you tackle your social and other digital media.
STEP 3: PERFORM A SOCIAL MEDIA/BRAND AUDIT
Consider having a Certified Digital Brand Strategist (CDBS) perform a digital brand analysis for you.
They will not only do a Google search for you but also measure 5 areas of your digital brand:
This will also include your social media profiles, personal website, LinkedIn, prioritized recommendations.
STEP 4: OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
LinkedIn Profile Checklist:
- Turn off your activity broadcasts before editing.
- Change privacy settings when researching, making yourself anonymous. Customize your URL.
- Include a professional-looking headshot.
- Use an attention-grabbing headline. Add more than a job title. Consider adding something about your personal brand, i.e., what differentiates you.
- Include your industry and location.
- Include links to a personal website, Twitter account, blog, etc. Incorporate your personal brand throughout your profile.
- Include a summary (2,000 characters of space), incorporating personal pronouns and contact information. Also, include your positioning statement, a review of your career, and notable accomplishments. Questions to consider: What do you do? Who do you help? What problem do you solve? What are you best at? What kind of job are you looking for?
- Include an up-to-date current position (with description) and list at least two positions. For job titles, add more description, e.g., rather than listing V.P., put V.P., Global Operations.
- Incorporate accomplishments for each position listed.
- Include relevant keywords throughout your profile and are especially essential to include in your headline, job title, company name, and skills section.
- Select skills & expertise most relevant to your job focus. Add additional sections to your profile as appropriate, i.e., projects, honors, etc.
- Join & engage in at least ten industry or field-related groups, including company alumni groups. Send invitations to connect with group members.
- Request recommendations from former managers, colleagues, customers, vendors, and suppliers. You need three recommendations for profile completeness.
- Show career progression in your profile.
- Make sure your profile is 100% complete to ensure you show up in search results.
- Have a minimum of 50 connections. Give yourself a stretch goal of making 200 connections. Follow your target companies.
- Connect with college alumni who work at your target companies.
- Check to see if any of your 1st, 2nd, 3rd level, or group members work at your target companies.
- Follow LinkedIn influencers.
Make it a priority to connect and comment on other’s posts regularly. Need help optimizing your LinkedIn Profile?
Do you have a brand community?
Your brand community includes those individuals who can help you find and land your next job and can include:
- Well-connected former colleagues
- Hiring Managers
- Contacts at job transition groups
- Contacts at professional industry-related associations
- Family and friends
You can communicate your brand in many different ways, including in a resume and cover letter, when sharing stories during job interviews, through writing articles, through speaking opportunities, and when networking.
Other ways to communicate your brand is through an email signature, by creating or contributing to a blog and other social media, and setting up a profile on about.me
STEP 5: REVAMP YOUR RESUME
Modernize the format and update the content is it is relevant and strategically positions you as the ideal candidate for the position you’re applying for.
- Does the resume look original and not based on a template? Is the resume a polished presentation in your voice?
- Does the design look professional and well-organized?
- Is a clear, concise profile included at the beginning of the resume, so the reader immediately knows your strengths, skills, and values?
- Is the length and overall appearance of the resume appropriate given the career level and objective?
- Is there only one font that is appropriate for the career level?
- Are there design elements, such as bullets and bolding, that guide readers’ eyes through the document and highlight relevant content?
- Is there a clean balance between text and whitespace? Are margins even on all sides?
- Is the layout consistent throughout the document in font size, bolding, and spacing?
- If the resume is longer than a page, does the second page, contain a heading? Is the page break formatted correctly?
- Are all the resume sections clearly labeled?
- Are sections placed in the best order to highlight the applicant’s focus and expertise?
- Is the work history listed in reverse chronological order (most recent job first)?
- Is each of the job titles bolded rather than the company names? Are the years worked listed (without months)?
- Are specific certifications and training listed on the first page for IT resumes?
- If an objective statement is listed, is it at the top of the first page and lists the specific position, job number, and company?
- Is the resume targeted to a specific career goal and not trying to be a one-size-fits-all document?
- Do the professional experience categories on a functional resume, emphasize the applicant’s career focus and expertise?
- If this is a resume for a career change, are the supporting details showing how experience is relevant to the new goal?
- Does the resume include accomplishments listed as objective and outcome?
- Are accomplishments quantified by using numbers, percentages, dollar amounts, or other concrete measures of success, if applicable?
- Do accomplishment statements begin with strong, varied action verbs? Are accomplishments separate from responsibilities?
- Is the information relevant to the job description and company needs? Does the resume content support the career goal?
- Does the resume reflect keywords from the company values, mission, vision statement, or focal points from informational interviews with employees?
- Is applicable additional information, such as awards and affiliations, included, while personal details like marital status, age, and nationality unrelated to the job target omitted?
- Are the references listed on a separate sheet with names, full addresses, phone, email?
Is the resume written in an implied first-person voice with personal pronouns, such as I, me, and my, avoided?
Is the resume as perfect as possible, with no careless typos or spelling, grammar, or syntax errors?
WOW, I covered a lot here today!
To recap the 5 Step Career Clean-Up Process to Boost Your Credibility and Get Hired Sooner:
- STEP 1: EGO SURF
- STEP 2: SET UP GOOGLE ALERTS
- STEP 3: PERFORM A SOCIAL MEDIA/BRAND AUDIT
- STEP 4: OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
- STEP 5: REVAMP YOUR RESUME
Need help improving your online credibility?
I am happy to help. Let’s Chat to discuss your specific needs.
To your happiness and success!