Your Personal Web Presence

By CRAIG KUNCE

A while back I got an e-mail from a former student asking if I could help them with their job search. They were relocating and wondered if I could offer any advice. One of the first things I did was to look at their Facebook profile to see how they were representing themselves to the working world. Much to my amazement, their profile picture, front-and-center for all to see, was of this person and about five friends. Two friends were standing on the roof of a house, two were on the first story balcony, and my former student was on the ground level. They had cleverly built a two-story beer bong and were putting it to use. Needless to say, my first bit of advice was obvious.

Many employers are searching and viewing your web presence before they interview or hire you. They want to know what type of person they are hiring, and they have found that some candidates let it all hang out on the web. You should think about your personal and professional web presence before you begin applying for jobs. I suggest methodically combing through your social media pages and removing all information and pictures that may not put you in the best, or most professional, light. Even the seemingly innocuous photos of you having fun with your friends can make you seem like a party-girl or boy to a potential employer. Straighten up and fly right, you'll be thankful you did when you get your first job offer. And, you can always put a few pics back up once you're hired.

And… just when you think you have all your privacy setting in place, and think no employer will be able to see your social pages… I have heard and read several time that some employers tell you that your will be receiving a "friend" or "connect" request in the coming days, and they expect you to accept it so they can check you out. So, again, I suggest you take a serious look at your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Linkedin pages, and your YouTube video presence—and ask yourself if you are putting yourself in the proper light for potential employers to see you.