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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – having an online presence is the best thing you can do for yourself if you’re planning on looking for a job. A recent survey of 300 HR professionals who are involved with recruiting illustrates just how important a strong online presence is.
In the survey, was conducted by ResearchNow, about 30 per cent of the HR pros surveyed said that a personal website can be a competitive advantage for a job candidate. Thirty-nine per cent said that all other qualifications being equal, they would be more likely to pick a candidate with a personal website over a candidate who didn’t have one.
Many also felt that the recruiting practice is changing towards a new model – one where candidates are sought out rather than asked to apply to a job that’s been posted. The writing on the wall is pretty clear: with more and more recruiters actively looking for candidates online, you really can’t afford to not have a strong digital presence.
Want to get hired? Get your site together
Respondents stated that having a website shows that a candidate is creative, marketing-savvy and able to build and maintain their brand. Even with all of these benefits, 42 per cent of those surveyed said that less than 1 out of every 100 candidates has a personal website.
As for what the respondents want to see on a candidate’s website, here are the most sought after details:
- A traditional resume
- An interactive resume that contains links to samples of your work
- Links to writing samples
- Volunteer/non-for-profit experience
- Portfolio samples
- Awards and other honours
Your online reputation may precede you
The respondents also said that they look up candidates on Google and social media. To no one’s surprise, what they find influences their decision. Things like revealing pictures, strong political opinions and negative comments about a current or past employer are all considered red flags.
If you’ve ever tweeted out a joke about being bored at work or shared pictures from a party on the weekend where your state of sobriety was in question, you may want to go back and delete that type of content.
If you’re seriously looking for a job, spend the necessary time on your social profiles and rid them of anything that may put off a potential recruiter. In addition to taking stuff off of your profiles, add new content that’ll help in your job search. Share insights and news on what’s happening in your industry, or updates about any volunteer experiences you have. Focus on things that will make you stand out in a positive light.
When it comes to your online presence, you have total and complete control so use that to your advantage.
For an infographic of the survey’s full results, click here. Check back here for a future post on how to get started with setting up your own website.
Do you have a personal website? Do you find it has helped you find work or job leads? We want to know! Tell us in the comments section below.