Having spent many years discussing the reasons for selection of Candidates for Interview with our Clients, we feel we are in a good position to identify trends and provide constructive feedback for job seekers on this topic. So, it should come as no surprise that aside from your details on a CV, which we cover in other articles on our site, that when it comes to getting noticed and making that "first impression", there are some really simple steps that get overlooked and yet invariably make the difference between getting an Interview and not getting a Job Interview.
1 Set Up a Professional Email Address
If you are looking for work, ensure you set up a live/google mail /Hotmail or similar account which is simply prefixed by your name. We frequently get CV's in with a variety of weird, wonderful and sometimes quite inappropriate e-mail addresses on them to which we are asked to respond to eg firstname.lastname@example.org. This may make a prospective employer question the Candidate's professionalism as this, rightly or wrongly, gives an impression of the Candidate and can lead to their CV being overlooked before its even considered. This may seem harsh but that’s real life unfortunately. Remember people make snap decisions. Be neutral with this.
2 Review Your Existing Non Work Related Social Media Presence
One of the first things many of our Clients and we ourselves do as a standard process when considering further an application, is to put the Job Seekers name into a search engine like Google and press the search button and see what comes up.
Again, the results can be quite frightening! We have discovered various bad news stories and frightening social media profiles simply by doing this. This can quickly lead the potential Recruiter/Interviewer to place your application in the filing tray called 'Do Not Use'. People rightly or wrongly make decisions on your suitability for their Company, based upon this type of information and so you need to eliminate the risk of this counting against you.
As the most common non-work related social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram offer the ability to protect your account, we would recommend you take advantage of this as a fire fighting strategy. Would you want an Interviewer to pre judge you based upon graphic pictures of nights out, posted in fun, or see your hatred of a football team, or a list of a profanities and strange selfies? Probably not, as its not likely to create an impression an employer would embrace. Try and judge your account or get a family member to judge it impartially to see whether this action is appropriate in the short term. On Facebook for example, look at your privacy settings and remember there are regular updates Facebook to it so it is wise to keep up to date with this.
However, better still, work on building strong social networks and creating strong online profiles on your personal social media accounts with good pictures and neutral or positive messages.
3 Review Your Existing Work Related Social Media Presence
Putting a positive slant on this, give employers a good feel for your personality with your work- related social media presence. As well as those seeking to avoid employing the wrong people, other Companies do choose to hire because the profile conveys a professional image of you. In some instances, it is because background information supported professional qualifications, other people posted great references about the Candidate, or because the profile showed that the Candidate is creative, well-rounded or has great communication skills.
Importantly, if you do not have an online Work related social media presence, set one up now. Candidates who are silent or invisible online can also be at as big a disadvantage as those who have a poor presence so they need to engage on work related social networking sites to increase their visibility and search ability with prospective employers.
4 Use a Professional Image
One of the quickest and biggest turn offs for potential employers can be the photo you use on your social media accounts which is generally the first thing they see on a search. We have all seen them and probably laughed at them on Linked In. The girl doing the pouty face, the guy at a wedding who has clearly just crudely cropped his mates out of a picture, the girl at the races in her top hat with laughing friends and the guy skiing at the top of a mountain. If this is you ,change it NOW ! Ask a friend or colleague to take a close up head and shoulders picture on a mobile camera in black and white and upload it to the site. We suggest black and white as it is more unobtrusive and often more flattering.
So now you have neutralised and hopefully soon improved your social media presence by following our advice, your chances of getting that Interview are definately much improved.
Good Luck and if we can help you any further do not hesitate to contact us or schedule a call
If you want to discuss this further and understand other ways we can assist you in getting that next role, please contact us on Leeds 0113 367 2880 or Manchester 0161 661 4421