Attention Candidates: How to Get in the Digital Game

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child in uniform watching organized youth soccerIf you haven’t heard the buzz on social networks yet, then I don’t know what to tell you. Except, it’s never too late to crash the party. Initially, social networks took on a different meaning from what we now know them as. Social networks are 24/7 social outlets that connect users and businesses to never-ending conversations. And guess what? Employers and recruiters are lurking around and on the constant war path to find talent through the popular mainstream social networks. I can’t begin to stress enough how important it is to have a digital presence. Whether you are a social media socialite or a newb, you need to have a digital presence that is presentable to the many job opportunities knocking on your door.

About 94 percent of recruiters are using or plan to use social media for recruiting. And it doesn’t stop there. According to this Herd Wisdom infographic, 89 percent of recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn. So whether you think it’s time you revamp your digital self or jump start it in the employment market, you should consider these three tips.

1. Clean Up Your Social Networks

You know how every once in awhile you have to do your laundry and clean up after yourself? Well, try not to look at cleaning up your social networks as a chore, but instead as a healthy activity, like going to the gym and getting your sweat on. You feel good afterward, and guess what, it’s good for you. You can’t expect to get a call from the big leagues one day if you have images of yourself on your Facebook page that may scare employers and recruiters away. According to research from Go-Gulf, 65 percent of employers check candidates’ social networks to evaluate their professionalism in terms of social conduct. About 45 percent of employers check candidates’ social networks to learn more about their qualifications. So take the necessary steps to clean up your social profiles. In addition, some of these percentages rise up as social networks continue to influence our lives more and more.

For those of you that are not socially active on networks, and don’t have a LinkedIn account, it’s important that you get with the times. As far as it goes, I haven’t met anybody that enjoys missing the last bus ride home. Have you?

2. That Thing Called LinkedIn

As of April 2014, LinkedIn has 300 million users on its site. It’s a great resource for selling your digital self. Early adopters will probably tell you that it requires a little more strategy to appeal to employers and recruiters than back in the day, which was not so long ago. Still, LinkedIn gives employers and recruiters access to your digital resume, accomplishments, and social networks if you decide so. Complete specific tasks on LinkedIn that should be obvious to you like adding an image of yourself, including your professional experience, and joining groups. And if that doesn’t satisfy you, then spice things up by getting visually crafty with your profile.

3. Tell People About Yourself

Some of us have taken to social networks so well that we use them as an outlet to share our every thought. Others still reject the notion of creating social outlets and content that tells people a little something about themselves. Fair enough, because some people still enjoy their social privacy. But that still doesn’t neglect the fact that you should probably present to employers and recruiters some basic and worthy digital information about yourself. And there’s a neat way you can do that. Have you ever heard about what About.Me does ? The site offers an interesting way for users to create a profile that shares a little about themselves, and it allows their homepage to be used as a reference point for employers, recruiters, and anyone to connect socially. So what’s the benefit of giving this a shot?

Well, if you are college student or a job seeker on the hunt, it’s a great way to visually present yourself, give quick access to your LinkedIn profile, and add your About.Me homepage to your email signature. Remember, marketing is about presentation. Social media networks not only give employers and recruiters insights to how you conduct yourself socially, but also helps set the tone for your first interview.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Whether you are a social network fanatic or unfazed by the digital world, you need to account for the fact that we are in a global social era of connectivity. Don’t shy away from social networks when it comes to your professional career or neglect your digital perception. A wise man once told me, “If you stand close enough to water, you’re bound to get your feet wet.” Meaning, if you’re looking for the next professional opportunity, then create a digital self that will not only allow you to get noticed, but create a digital water fountain of social connections and career opportunities. So don’t sell yourself short; get yourself in the game.

By Fernando Ramirez