With the click of a mouse and a simple search of your name, recruiters and employers can access your social media profiles ─ from your Facebook page to your LinkedIn profile and everything in-between. With an abundance of professional and personal information available online, hiring managers and recruiters are now actively using social media in their recruitment strategies. For candidates and job seekers, this is an opportunity to leave a positive impression on recruiters and potential employers. To best capitalize on this, you need to be selective as to what you share and post online.

According to Forbes, over time, your online presence will replace your résumé. As a recruiter, I experience this regularly with my candidates and know that this trend is gaining traction in the market. It’s vital that your information is up-to-date and presented in a professional manner so as to build credibility for yourself and attract the attention of recruiters and employers. Having a comprehensive profile, complete with a professional photo, especially on LinkedIn—the top site for social networking in business—will make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to find the information they’re looking for and put a face to a name.

I turn to LinkedIn on a daily basis to gain information on potential candidates beyond a blanket résumé. LinkedIn recommendations from employers and peers provide added value to a candidate’s profile and allow me to dig beyond the surface to learn more about that individual. Having an active LinkedIn presence, including commenting on appropriate articles, sharing relevant content and connecting with other professionals, will also demonstrate your savvy skills in regard to social networking in business.

Once I peruse a LinkedIn profile, I search for the individual on Facebook. This is becoming common practice among recruiters and hiring managers, and I recommend candidates maintain a professional presence on Facebook, ensuring there isn’t damaging information for employers and recruiters to find. Remove any inappropriate photos or posts and only share items that you would be comfortable having a potential employer see. Keep in mind that Twitter is also an easy platform for others to view without your knowledge, which means you should keep your content appropriate and professional there as well.

Throughout all of your online information, you want to provide the best impression of yourself and give executives a reason to reach out to you and/or hire you. In the digital age, you have to consider your online professional profile both an extension of your résumé and an opportunity to grab the attention of employers and hiring managers.

I welcome your suggestions for maintaining a professional, online presence.

Larry Polyak

Yes, people should know by now that they need to be aware of what they put online and not post anything that they would not want others to see. I am admittedly biased, but in addition to social media, I believe memberships in professional organizations helps tremendously. They are a good way to – as you say – “increase your online professionalism” and “grab the attention of employers and hiring managers”.
Larry Polyak
President, PATCA – Professional and Technical Consultants Association


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