Modern-day head hunters are sneakier than ever and are ready to use all the available resources in order to find a perfect job candidate. In many cases, Google search and a quick check up on candidates’ online activities provide them with all the pieces of information they need to make the right choice.
This is why ambitious professionals should be able to anticipate the moves of digitally-empowered HR professionals by ensuring their online traces are impeccable. If you’re looking for a next big job opportunity, there are several ways you can establish yourself as a preferred candidate.
Use HRs’ own favorite tool – smarten up your online portfolio.
There’s nothing mysterious about the hiring process, especially not after various studies have shown that recruiters increasingly rely on internet results to map the right candidate. We recently pointed out that 61% of recruiters say online content helps them identify “red flags” with candidates, while earlier research shows that 80% of employers Google job seekers before inviting them for an interview.
These figures should change your perception of what you should focus on when trying to impress recruiters. Instead of wasting time on adding (useless) references to your resume, you should consider building a personal website, increasing your LinkedIn activity and deleting potentially negative content from your social media pages.
This is, of course, just a start.
Be active to get noticed.
With so many employers now actively using online search, professional appearance on the web is a key to being invited for an interview. For one, LinkedIn profile will make you visible to 94% of recruiters currently active on this network, as long as you’re using it the right way, of course.
Bear in mind that recruiters rarely search for potential candidates by name. Instead, they use specific keywords and often join professional groups to browse relevant profiles. This means you need to approach LinkedIn strategically and ensure your profile matches their expectations:
- Add keywords to your bio/profile. Using the right set of keywords across your LinkedIn profile increases your chances of being found in search. Therefore, try to replace generic statements such as “motivated individual” with something like “results-oriented business analyst” to get more views.
- Choose an adequate photo. LinkedIn data suggests that users with a profile photo are 14 times more likely to have their profile viewed than users who don’t have it.
- Join professional groups to connect to professionals in your industry and build relevant relationships.
- Don’t ignore these powerful 3-minute habits that can help you keep your profile up to date.
LinkedIn is one of the most important tools in the HR sector today, but most of these things apply to other social networks you use. A YouTube video about you talking on a conference, Google+ and Facebook groups activity can also help giving away the right impression to a potential recruiter.
Considering the reach and potential of all these networks, the best way job seekers can use them is to join groups relevant to their profession, connect with key influencers in the industry and engage in trending discussions. This kind of activity shows recruiters that you’re actually willing to keep expanding your knowledge independently and tells them more than a set of facts on your CV.
Maintain consistent appearance across multiple online channels.
In addition to LinkedIn and Google search, personal blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts are often the first touch point between you and recruiters. Therefore, in addition to running an active LinkedIn profile, you should also ensure your other social networks are not painting a wrong picture. As mentioned earlier, present-day recruiters love social media content because it helps them immediately discard candidates who don’t seem to pay too much attention to what they post online.
Personalize your profiles to differentiate from other candidates.
For job positions that have dozens or hundreds of applicants, personalized CV and online appearance in general are often the things that grab recruiters/employers’ attention. Ambra Benjamin, who currently works as an engineering recruiter at Facebook gave an interesting comment about personalization in a Quora post:
I think it’s important to keep the work experience details as professional as possible, but trust me, there are ways to have fun with it. I love an Easter egg buried in a resume…figuratively speaking.
Benjamin also points out that checking a candidate’s personal website or Twitter account are her favorite parts of recruiting. This is not because she’s interested in what candidates tweet about, but rather because these resources show the candidate’s overall interests. Personalization is, therefore, essential for professional advancement and you should definitely consider these simple strategies to make it work for you.
Great written and spoken communication skills leave a permanent impression.
The way you interact with professionals can well be a determining factor in the process of getting a good job. By replying to emails promptly, using an appropriate tone and style, you already show recruiters that you are able to have a professional communication.
When it comes to the interview part, there are also a number of communication strategies you can use to impress interviewers. From choosing a proper way to address them to preparing to answer the most difficult questions such as “What are your major weaknesses?” you can considerably improve your chances of getting the job. Additionally, you may want to pay attention to non-verbal communication and your dress code for the day in order to make an appropriate impression.
The modern job market is highly competitive and candidates aiming at the best positions in global companies need to make sure both their CVs and online profiles are remarkable. Paying attention to the aspects outlined above can definitely differentiate you from thousands of other driven individuals just like you, and actually make you noticed by recruiters.
Even if you lack experience for a job you really want, you can compensate this with something others don’t have – an active and reputable online portfolio!