Now, applying for a job does not only mean mailing off your resumé and cover letter. Your online presence, or digital footprint, can be part of your application.
Use general search engines like Google, Bing, or Duckduckgo to search your name. What do the search results say about you? They are your online presence. Are you satisfied with what these search results say about you? Your online presence changes each time you publish an image, write a blog, post a tweet, or interact with someone in a public space. In a nutshell, it is determined by what you publicly put out online. A 2006 survey of 100 executive recruiters by job search and recruiting network ExecuNet found that 77% use search engines to learn about candidates. A 2013 nationwide survey of hiring managers and HR professionals conducted by Harris Interactive found that 39% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.
Even it is still controversial whether googling a job applicant is legal or not, the fact is, you probably won’t get a chance to defend whatever is discovered about you, so if anything could even be perceived as inappropriate, you should make an effort to get rid of it.
From a positive perspective, having a professional online profile can help potential employers or customers find you and create opportunities to showcase your skills, knowledge, experience, and more.
Probably, you already have a personal online presence like accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media sites to share your experience, feeling, and life with families and friends. You may not want your potential employers or supervisors to perceive all these activities. It would be better to create separate professionally-focused online profiles for job hunting or career development. Many social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, allow a user to create multiple accounts. Whatever platforms you use to develop your professional brand, you should pay attention to the following:
Personal websites stand you out of other applicants, allow more space to showcase yourself, or document a journal of your life.
Many platforms are available now for you to build a personal website without any web technical background or coding experience. Here are some example platforms, which are easy to use and offer free templates for you to choose from. They also have subscription options with more advanced features.
Before you decide which platform to use, you may compare these platforms to see which one fits your needs the best. You can easily find this kind of information online, for example, comparing Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress, Google Sites Review, etc.
Among all the social media platforms, LinkedIn focuses more on professional profiles and establishes your professional brand online.
On LinkedIn, people in your network are called connections. Your network is made up of your 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, and 3rd-degree connections, as well as fellow members of your LinkedIn groups.
*InMail is a paid feature.
The way how LinkedIn organizes the connections decides that you can grow your network by adding connections and joining groups.
How to search to find people you want to connect with or groups you want to join?
Some Texas Tech departments, schools, or organizations have set up their groups. Here are some examples you may be interested in joining: