Employment Expertise: First steps to a positive online presence


By West Michigan Works!


More and more HR professionals are using the Internet to find information about job candidates. In a recent poll of recruiters, 93% said that they look at a candidate’s social profile and 42% of those said that they’ve reconsidered a candidate based on what they found.


Knowing this, how can you create a good online first impression? Here are a couple tips to get you started.


Google yourself. Look at the first three or four pages to see what an employer will see. A search that brings up negative or inappropriate content could land you in an employer’s reject pile. And while having negative content online may hurt your chances of landing a job, having no information is almost as bad; recruiters may see this being out of touch or lacking skills.


To combat this, you need to get fresh, positive content on the Internet. A good way to do this is to create or update your LinkedIn profile.


LinkedIn is the #1 social media site that employers and recruiters use to search for candidates, so it’s important to have a complete profile with detailed information about your skills and experience. Pay close attention to the following:

  • Photo: Your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you include a photo of yourself. Be sure to use a professional-looking photo.
  • Headline: Your headline is the short description of you that follows your photo in LinkedIn. A strong headline uses key words that are relevant to the position that you’re searching for and makes people want to view your profile. This is your opportunity to sell yourself in 120 words or less. Be concise. Be creative.
  • Network: Once you set up your profile, connect with everyone you know: current and former colleagues, past employers, people in your industry, neighbors, family, friends and former classmates. And don’t forgot to follow companies that you may be interested in.

Building your online presence takes time, but these steps are a good start. Once you get some positive content on the web, remember to monitor it on a regular basis.


Employment Expertise is provided by West Michigan Works! Learn more about how they can help: visit westmiworks.org or your local Service Center.