Social media vs. job applications: Learn to stand out when employers search you online

Posted on Dec 10 2013 - 9:30pm by Guest Writer

By Cheyanne Schaefer, Guest Writer

In the modern technology-saturated world, many employers are illuminating possible job candidates by simply scrolling through those potential employees’ personal websites.

In 2011, The New York Times published an article on this technique of candidate researching, interviewing Joe Bontke, the outreach manager for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) office in Houston. Bontke said, “75 percent of recruiters are required to do online research of candidates, and 70 percent have rejected candidates because of what they found.”

The Internet and social media are becoming more popular every year, increasing the amount of resources employers can use to research candidates. In fact, Tracy Pitt, the career outreach manager at Pacific Lutheran University, said the way we represent ourselves on the Internet is extremely important.

“Know your audience and always remember once you post something, it can never truly be deleted,” Pitt said.

It is also becoming almost crucial to create a LinkedIn profile, or some kind of Thought-Leadership profile.

Pitt then recommended an extremely helpful website known as PwC (Pricewater Cooper). When you go to the PwC site, you will be able to take advantage of two great tools.

The Online Calculator will help you rate yourself on how you compare to others online and how you appear to employers.

PwC also provides you with a Personal Brand Experience Tool, which will help you to identify the kind of person you truly are, so that you are able to accurately use the Internet to advertise yourself as a future employee.

Always keep in mind that visuals are a must. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That is why it is very important to have a strong profile picture. The best type of photo is a clear head shot from the shoulders up with the camera looking at you straight on.

Of course, it is also advised that you have a detailed biography. Include your skills, goals and experiences. One way you can be really stand out is by making a personal biography video, posting it on YouTube and then linking the video to your LinkedIn profile.

This idea may sound kind of silly, but it will help you become digitally distinct because not many people utilize videos. Plus, the video allows the employer to see how you present yourself, your form of speech and to experience a bit of your personality.

Another important factor is to have solid validation. Make sure  you have contacts backing you up on your profile. This builds credibility and helps the employer believe the skills you claim to have are true. Other ways to help build this up is by having recommendations and testimonials on your pages.

If you care about your career, make sure you present yourself the best you can. Always remember to stand out and to check out the PwC website at http://www.pwc.com/us/en/careers/campus/index.jhtml.