Job seekers, check your selfie

MENLO PARK
February 13, 2017 6:18am
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•  Most hiring managers Google candidates, survey shows

•  “Your digital footprint can affect your employment prospects”


Looking to land a job in the creative industry? You'll need more than an impressive resume and portfolio, according to new research from staffing firm the Creative Group.

Sixty-three percent of advertising executives and 44 percent of marketing executives say they search online for information about prospective employees at least some of the time.

And if hiring managers don't like what they see, applicants could be removed from the running.

Almost half (48 percent) of advertising executives and more than one-quarter (26 percent) of marketing executives have decided not to extend a job offer to a candidate based on what they uncovered online.

"Creative job seekers often spend so much time perfecting their resumes and portfolios that they overlook their overall online presence," says Diane Domeyer, executive director of the Creative Group. "But your digital footprint can affect your employment prospects, too."

Ms. Domeyer says hiring managers aren't just looking for red flags when Googling job candidates. "A strong online reputation can be a career asset and give you an edge over the competition. In addition to removing questionable content, use the opportunity to showcase your skills, expertise and interests and reinforce your personal brand," she says.

The Creative Group offers five tips for creating an online presence that works for and not against you:

• Be careful what you share. What happens on the internet, stays on the internet. Whether it's an unflattering photo or off-putting remark, the saying rings true. Use discretion when publishing content online, including social media.

• Put your skills on display. A digital portfolio is a must for today's creative job seekers. Build a website or use a hosting platform to showcase work and passion projects, and include a link on your resume.

• Offer your insights. Show that you know your stuff by commenting in relevant forums or authoring online articles in your area of expertise. Doing so helps establish your credibility and dedication to the industry.

• Moderate your content. While a sparse online presence may be underwhelming, hiring managers don't need to know everything about you. Sharing too much information, too often, can cause employers to question your focus and character.

• Stay on top of the task. Building and managing your digital footprint shouldn't be limited to when you're job hunting. Protect your professional reputation at all times to ensure you're always putting your best self forward.

About the survey

The survey was developed by the Creative Group, a unit of Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI) of Menlo Park, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 400 telephone interviews -- with approximately 200 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.


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