Before I became a coach, I had the glamorous job of pre-screening candidates for our entry level positions. I’d get a stack of 20 cover letters and resumes and would have the fun task of reviewing those documents. If they got the initial thumbs up, I went further into my back-end research. Now I’m a business coach and work as a contractor to screen and interview candidates for mid and high-level positions. It would be a disservice if I didn’t share with you my top three red flags and necessary fixes.
1) GOOGLE YOURSELF -That’s right you heard me. Go and Google yourself. Type in your name and see what comes up. What do you see? Is it accurate? Does it portray your current professional image or what you want to be doing?
If you’ve answered “no,” it’s time to start creating kick-ass content to support you as an industry contributor (see my blog on credibility for more ideas).
If you don’t see anything and don’t want it that way, you can create a quick online profile at www.about.me to start establishing your online presence.
2) Clean Up Your Social Media Presence – Can I tell you how many people have been knocked out of the running based on the pictures and posts they have floating around Facebook and Twitter? If you’re going to use your real name and real photos, you may have real consequences. Don’t think HR or hiring managers will look this up? So wrong. It’s first on the list before you even make it to the phone interview.
Even if your profile is private, I can still see your profile picture. To check, log out of your account and search for yourself. If you can see everything, go to your profile settings and amp up your privacy. This still doesn’t let you off the hook if you have a mutual friend. Just remember anything you post is in public domain and can live forever.
3) Update Your Resume AND LinkedIn – I’ve heard grumblings about LinkedIn, but trust me, it matters when you’re in job hunt mode. People want to see your history and connections in a snap shot and that you’re taking your professional life seriously. So after you’ve updated your resume, it’s time to take to LinkedIn. This will take a bit of time depending on how out of date your profile is. First make sure you have an appropriate photo (no booze or bikinis, please). Second, update your headline to who you are and what you do. If you aren’t currently working, you can use something along the lines Freelance Writer or Non-Profit Professional. Third, make sure your work history is accurate. If you need an example, feel free to check out my profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenlemunyan/
The work isn’t over after these action items, but they will prevent the door from closing without good reason.