In the Paleozoic Era when our parents were applying for jobs, your first real impression was in person. One would physically mail a resume, cover letter and application (completed very perfectly in pen, mind you) for the human resources person to review, and then come to the office for an interview, perhaps after a phone call for initial qualification.
Now, these steps alone have remained relatively unchanged and those that evolved are much better off. However, the most substantial change in the hiring process derives from what can be found once a candidate’s resume slides across the HR offices.
In a word...stalking.
Think about it! In 1967, you could submit sixteen resumes for nuclear engineering jobs at the age of fifteen and nobody would even know the difference until they noticed you wearing your parent’s clothes to work on day one. Now, as soon as your name appears in the resume pile, the professional stalking begins. Your entire life can largely be found online across the various media outlets, from your social side on Facebook to those Tweets you post at 4 AM and think nobody reads. As it turns out, they are all readily available as ammunition for employers to further or terminate their pursuit of your candidacy. The first impression you wanted to make when called in for that final face-to-face? It has already been made...and unfortunately it’s a nice picture of you chugging a Bud Light at the lake last weekend with 55 likes and 14 comments. Every step of the hiring process is now a period for further evaluation, and not just off your resume.
What does this mean for job seekers? It’s simple really:
Clean It Up: treat every page like it is your LinkedIn and try to convince the professional sector that you’re a stand up guy or gal.
Headshots Matter: In an upcoming blog, we will share the do’s and don’t do’s of LinkedIn pictures, but for now just keep in mind that your LinkedIn Profile is ALWAYS the first thing companies search for once they see your name pop up. Thus, make sure your profile is something to take pride in, and that starts with a good headshot.
Share Adult Things: Believe it or not, even if your Facebook doesn’t have anything negative to showcase does not mean you are free of improvement. Let these companies know that you actually want to be a professional. Sharing business updates, Tweeting about intellectual topics within your field, highlighting pictures of networking events you’ve attended are all great starts. Take charge of your reputation!
Looking for more? Check out our blog on www.pursuitandtie.com for more thoughtful leadership and best practices. We offer Linkedin and Photo Optimization as well! Meet with us and find out if it’s a good fit (first meeting is always totally free)!