Bad online habits can ruin your chance of getting your first job. Trust me when I say this!
I made so many mistakes when I was looking for my first job. The worst part was that I repeated those mistakes, without paying attention to why and how I could improve my job-hunting skills.
Today, I’m in a position where I can warn students and fresh grads from making those same mistakes. In fact, I advised a student to shorten his first name (it was 16 letters long!) just a couple of months ago. His ‘official’ first name for job-hunting purposes is now just 6 letters long, and I believe recruiters will now find it easier to search for him!
Here are some simple tips you can follow to have a consistent online presence.
- Name: don’t worry about what your parents may think
You can shorten your first name, you can remove your middle name, but whatever you do, stick to just one version! If you want to be searchable by recruiters online, you should have a name that is easy to remember. Remember the guy with the 16-letter first name? His name was a huge stumbling block, and he didn’t even realise it.
- Email address: time to get rid of your high school past
Now’s the time to ditch your high school email address (ice_queen_94 is a big no-no!) for one that has your name in it. You can add numbers to your email address if the address you want isn’t available, but ideally your name should be in it.
- Profile photo: dress to impress but remember to capture it
This is often overlooked, but first impressions matter. If you don’t have one already, get a nice photo of yourself taken (you should be wearing formal attire for this) and use the same profile photo for all job-hunting purposes e.g. in your résumé, LinkedIn profile, etc. You should even think about using the same photo for Skype, as many recruiters today opt to conduct Skype interviews before face-to-face sessions.
You may want to adopt these guidelines for your social media accounts as well. It is a well-known fact that many recruiters browse through social media accounts of possible job candidates to see what they’re up to. There’s absolutely no harm in appearing professional on social media, be it Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – but the biggest factor of them all is being consistent and searchable.