ReputationManagement.com CEO Bill Fish has been active in the news this week. He discussed making yourself more hireable with Time, offered tips for leaving an old job without burning bridges, shared SEO tips for small businesses, and explained what employers are looking for when they search for job seekers on social media.
How to Make Yourself More Hireable
Whether you’re job hunting or not, it’s always a good idea to consider just how hireable you are at any moment. You might have a great opportunity fall into your lap, have a major life change, move across the country (or the world), or even get laid off, so be prepared. Time highlighted seven ways to make yourself more hireable, and Bill reminds us all how important it is to reboot your online reputation so that employers find only positive content associated with your name:
In honor of Throwback Thursday, take some time to start cleaning up your public postings across social media, says Bill Fish, founder and president of ReputationManagement.com.
Start by Googling yourself in every possible way—see what comes up when you type in your name and where you currently live and have lived, and even what pops up in image and video searches. Then do the same using other browsers, such as Bing and Yahoo.
“If you find anything you’d rather potential employers not find, take it down,” Fish says, adding that it’s particularly important to focus on removing anything that makes you come off as negative or a complainer. While you may not be able to completely refresh your online identity, it’s a good first step.
Once you’ve done this sweep, start seeding the Internet with what you do want potential employers to find.
You might add a friendly—yet professional—photo to your various social media platforms. “You could also start a LinkedIn discussion or even a new, work-focused public account to share smart observations about your industry,” Fish says. “It can show potential employers that you are on top of what’s happening.”
Most importantly, be your best self. “When you make a good impression online—no matter how brief it is—it can show people who they’ll meet in real life,” Fish says.
Gracefully Leaving Your Old Job
If you’re moving on to a new position, you may be ready to just run out the door and get on with your new life. But The Network Journal encourages employees to say goodbye gracefully and avoid burning bridges. Bill contributed significantly to this article. Some of his quotes include:
With the frequency of people changing jobs as well as the explosion of social media networking over the last ten years, burning a bridge is never a good idea. You never know when you will cross paths with someone from a former job. No matter how angry you may be when leaving a job, it’s in your professional best interest to simply bite your tongue and move on with a smile, it simply isn’t worth it.
Some people get some bit of satisfaction by saying everything they have ever wanted to say to their boss as well as their colleagues. They figure it is their last chance to get everything off of their chest in a stressful situation and they just lose it. It usually takes around four hours for them to regret everything they said.
Give a sufficient notice, but be prepared to walk. It’s a nice professional courtesy to give two weeks notice, but many companies have a policy that when you give your notice it is your last day, so be prepared to be walked out.
Make a point to shake everyone’s hand and thank them.
Provide contact information if someone needs to get in touch. Make yourself available after you leave in case something arises that you could help with.
How Employers Screen Job Seekers on Social Media
With social networking checks now practically as common as background checks and references, job seekers should be prepared for a visit from employers online. Bill weighed in on what many employers are looking for when they search for candidates on social media:
The days of fretting for hours on whether to use a semi colon or colon on your resume are gone. Now, hiring managers are looking for your total picture – and that includes your online profiles. The first thing that I tend to look for is hate speech. Coming across comments online that attack a subset of society is an immediate deal breaker for me. Drug references are also frowned upon. If you feel comfortable enough to speak about drug usage online, that is a serious red flag. Blatant misspellings may seem minor, but if the candidate can’t put in the effort to spell words correctly on social media, what kind of effort will they put in on the job? All of that said, social media shouldn’t be the main determining factor on whether or not to hire someone, but it could quickly eliminate someone from consideration.
Search Engine Optimization for Small Business
If you can’t be found online, you might as well not exist. This is a hard truth for small businesses who often struggle to break through in search engine rankings. Doz.com highlighted 15 essential SEO tips for small businesses, and Bill encouraged small business owners to keep content fresh:
Keep it Fresh. Many people spend quite a bit of time, energy and money on their homepage to ensure it looks great and gets people interested in your products or services. The problem is, then they leave it unchanged for two or more years. Within Google’s algorithm there is a component that is referred to as the ‘freshness factor’, giving a bit of preferential treatment to sites who are updating. It doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your homepage, but tweaking it from time to time will ensure that your site has fresh content and has the best chance to succeed in Google.
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