5 Ways To Improve Your Online Appearance For A job Interview
Job hunting has changed drastically in the last few years. No longer can you simply rely on your resume and CV. Most of us have a digital “life trail” online, and Google is the portal that many employers use to check you out before you walk in the door for an interview.
While job seekers are using resume builders and resume distribution services to get noticed, HR managers are spending more time running background checks before a job seeker ever steps foot in the office.
In most cases, potential employee passes through some kind of personal checkup before an interview. For instance, the potential employer usually checks social media accounts during/before the hiring process.
5 Things Every Employer Checks Before Hiring
Too much information about us is available online, and HR managers use it to their advantage. We would like to highlight 5 things that absolutely every employer checks online before hiring a candidate.
Every employer wants to make sure you are who you say you are. Did you know that identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the world? Because of that fact, it is logical that every employer would want to check your identity. It is crucial for them to confirm that you are who you claim to be. They will firstly check the pieces of information that they can find in your ID or Passport. If everything is okay, they will continue with the next steps.
Social Media Accounts
It is hard to find a person that does not have at least 1 social media account. We are sharing too many things there and that’s why it is attractive for potential employers.
There are 2 different reasons why potential employers check our profiles. We already mentioned the first one – identity verification. Yet, there is another thing that is even more important. They would like to know you better before they even hire you.
As we said, we share plenty of information there that could give a clearer picture of our personality. Employers would like to know which lifestyle you are leading, which interests you have, with whom you spend your time, etc.
Do not worry; most of the business owners usually check only the newest posts. They know that older posts could make a wrong picture about you. People simply change.
It is easy to find out which schools or colleges you have finished before coming to an interview. However, the confirmation of your education is not going to be enough. Keep in mind that every entrepreneur will check the education program you went through during your schooling.
Work History and Work References
Every future worker would like to talk about his previous employment. Still, don’t expect that your potential employer will only congratulate you on your achievements. He will start researching your work history.
For instance, he will check the website of your previous company. Some employers would even contact your previous employers to confirm your work references. Recommendations from your previous superior could have a strong positive impact on your future.
Criminal History Check
Logically, absolutely every employer would like to know if you have any criminal history. This type of checkup includes a degree of the offense, date of the offense, etc.
These 5 personal checks are most common in the business world. Yet, you need to expect that some employers will make the extra mile. They will be ready to make an in-depth personal check that will help them make the right decision.
5 Steps to Clean Up Your Online Profile Before the Interview
Okay, the most important thing is to get ready for the job interview. There are a few things everyone would have to do before meeting the potential employer.
Search Yourself Online
It is recommendable to search yourself online before your further superior does that. Something that he or she will definitely check is your social media accounts. That is the reason why you need to design them to look professional.
First of all, avoid publishing posts that are inappropriate.
If some of your friends have published pictures and content that could compromise your chances, ask them to remove them, or at least make it private. The same goes for your own status updates, pictures, etc.
Highlight your achievements, skills, and interests that would interest potential employers. Our suggestion is to join the industry-related groups. There is a big chance your employer is the part of that group as well. If he sees that you have the same interests, it will be a big bonus for you.
Ask yourself after improving your profile – “Would I hire this person?” Answer that question honestly!
Change Incorrect Information
Mistakes happen all the time. Maybe you make a mistake during designing your CV or social media profiles. For instance, you forget to update personal data about employment. There is a big chance your potential employer will notice that, and it would be quite difficult to explain it was a mistake. So, double-check the personal information and change those that are incorrect.
Can strong references actually defeat bad personal checks? Let’s imagine the worst-case scenario. Your profile does not look professional and it is full of inappropriate posts. However, your previous employers only have nice words about you. Is that enough for the employer to convince him you are a good fit? It probably is!
Most of the people do not even prepare references from their previous jobs. They just mention that they worked there, and that’s it! Keep in mind that they can get a completely new picture of your abilities and personality. Of course, everything that happens later is up to you.
BONUS TIP: How to Act during the Interview
It doesn’t matter how powerful your CV is. Every individual needs to act like a professional during the job interview. It is true that your employer will research you online. However, the private conversation will have a much stronger impact. There are two things we would like to highlight
Always be direct and honest
Be ready to explain things
Always Be Direct and Honest
There is no need to try to hide anything. Sooner or later your employer will find out that you lied. He can even realize that during the interview. Let’s imagine that you were fired from the previous job because you made a crucial mistake. If he asks you to confirm that, then your only option is to confirm it.
Be Ready to Explain Things
Being ready to tell the truth that is not too nice is great. However, you will have to know how to explain it. We can use the same example (you were fired). After you confirm this information, you will have to explain why that happened. For instance, you can say that you learned a lesson and you won’t allow something like that to happen again, or perhaps that you weren’t ready for such level of responsibility.
Prepare to explain each issue that could have a negative impact on your hiring chances and be sincere about it.
There will probably be many candidates with the same or similar biography. Do not be too confident that you will get a job simply because of your CV. Show that you truly deserve it! Your social media profiles need to be a magnet for employers. Talk and act like a true professional during the job interview. If you do everything well, the job you want is going to be yours!
You can also expect a more thorough background check once an offer has been made, including the use of personality testing to find out what type of team you work best with, and how well you’re likely to get along with other people of different personality types.
About the author
Tony Tomov works at CheckThem, a company for Online Background Checks and Public Records located in California. He's passionate about exploring online safety topics as well as methods of search for information online.