“So, is it Mr DJ Coolvibes or is it just DJ Vibes?” DJ Vibes or Paul as he now wants to be known, met with me earlier to discuss why his CV isn’t getting as many hits as he was expecting for a Category Manager with 10 years in retail.
We should not judge, I definitely shouldn’t judge. I am still quite fond of my noughties email handle named, rather ironically to take the mic out of an old friend who referred to himself as DJ Twig, henceforth DJ Branch was unleashed into the cyber world. I am sure that DJ Branch still gets the same old emails asking if I am doubly sure I don’t have any PPI or if I’d like to connect with genuine single girls in my local area, but all laughs aside we need to change.
It’s one of the biggest things we overlook as candidates but it doesn’t matter how many projects you have delivered on or what your exposure to Lean Manufacturing is, you just can’t un-see an email from “Princess4Eva145”. It’s time to grow up, I know, it's hard. Our first email address represents so much to us, where you were at that stage of life, your first taste of independence and the first time you tried to illegally download music (ahhh Napster).
As job hunting has evolved so have the methods we use to recruit. Your presence in the digital universe is rightly or wrongly, out for people to see. These people include your future CEO, HR Manager and clients. The main reason we still get caught out is because (if you’re anything like me) you just tend to forget about those small details, we forget about the old profile pics, the cringe email addresses and the FB rants that we did 10 years ago when life was simpler.
So what do we do?
It’s fitting that because we live in a digital world we made a digital first impression. The key areas of interest for a Digi first impression are the following;
Bios/ About me
Keep it simple and professional, if needs be have a personal and a professional email address. If you are a consultant why not consider obtaining a business domain name relevant to your company or profession.
This is a big one for sites such as LinkedIn. View your profile picture as a potential employer would look, is it clear, is it appropriate, is it subjective and appropriate? Do you have other people in your picture or an old company logo? Remember; a profile picture represents you as a professional, this does not have to be a photo of you, it could be a company logo?
Opening statements are often used on CV’s, Cover letters or email introductions. The key things to remember with these are
Avoid subjective, generic buzz words e.g. kind, conscientious individual
Avoid giving too much personal information away e.g. 45-year-old father of three
Stick to how you can help, use roles and capabilities
Consider using a skills matrix
Bios and “about me”
This is an often untapped resource, hidden away in plain sight on many a social media page. Recruiters and potential employers will stumble across this and use it to build a profile of who they are hiring.
Make sure you question how much personal information you wish to share with the world, make sure you don’t give anything away that people may look to exploit. Use keywords and capabilities to help boost the SEO of your profile, making sure it accurately reflects your skillset. Consider listing some key impacts that you have made obviously keeping in mind client confidentiality. This will help people find you when it comes to searching.
This is something we can all work on really. Remember, everything on social media is out there in the public domain for people to see. Whilst there is always a platform to demonstrate your personality and what you do outside of the office just be conscious that people may be looking, ultimately if you are uncomfortable with your clients and employers seeing that dodgy photo of you doing shots in Ibiza then consider taking it down. I suggest having a business and personal platform, I use LinkedIn for professional for example.
Ask for some advice
Remember there is plenty of information out there to help you shape your digital presence and companies that specialise in offering advice to people who want to make the best first impression.
Why not take a look at Macildowie’s events page to book yourself onto our award-winning LinkedIn workshops.