Once upon a time, all that a job candidate needed to have was a good CV to get them through the door of an interview room. These days things are very different, and many employers will not only look at your CV to assess your suitability for the role on offer, but will also do a bit of a background check on you online too.
The most popular go-to place for employers to check you out is of course LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn is considered to be the Facebook of the business world, having a strong and professional profile here is going to be very important for you.
While your prospective new employer may take a casual glance at your Facebook or Twitter profile also, they do understand that you probably use these accounts socially, and would be more inclined to post the information they are most interested in on LinkedIn, such as your qualifications, work experience, key-skills, awards etc.
Your CV is very important
Despite the digital revolution, your CV is still your tried and trusted first step that allows you to apply for jobs being advertised. It is still expected by employers to have their first contact with potential new employees through the submission of their CV.
Your CV is your brief to inform employers about you and your qualifications and related work experience that makes you a good candidate for the role on offer. Your online profile is your second piece of the puzzle and is just as important as your CV to further help to prove your suitability for the job.
Employers will sort through CVs and narrow down their search by creating a shortlist of suitable candidates from the information that has been provided via a CV. But very many of them have now gotten into the habit of checking out viable candidates online. This is why it is so important that you have a strong online profile that truly complements your CV and backs up the information that you have supplied on there.
Your online profile
Your online profile will give employers a much deeper insight into why you are a suitable choice for the role on offer and why they should pick you for an interview. It is your job to give a prospective new employer the information that they are looking for, but in a neat and tidy way that can be easily read and understood. This is why you need to put just as much work into crafting your online profile as you did with your CV.
While this may seem like a lot of work, you really cannot choose one over the other. Having an outstanding CV may get you onto the shortlist, but if your online profile is sloppy or even non-existent, you may end up leaving the employer with a feeling of doubt about your suitability.
If an employer is looking at two CVs that both tick all of the right boxes and are pretty much neck and neck to make it into their shortlist, which one do you think they will put through – the candidate with a smart and detailed online profile that backs up their CV, or the other guy who has an incomplete profile and a head shot that shows him wearing a t-shirt with a rude slogan and swigging from a beer bottle?
Lets look at some top tips for creating a professional looking online profile that will perfectly complement your CV:
Give more details
We all know that employers face sifting through potentially hundreds of CVs to narrow down their search for a candidate. This is why the standard advice is to keep your CV short and sweet to about two pages in length. Anything longer can make your CV look intimidating and unappealing to an employer. However, because you have plenty of elbow room online, you can go into greater detail here about your key skills, work experience, voluntary work, achievements and awards.
Develop your own personal brand
If you really wanted to give your whole online profile a make-over, then don’t stop at LinkedIn. Take great advantage of all other online social media sites to create yourself a personal brand that is consistent across all platforms. Doing this will guarantee that a prospective employer will get the same impression of you regardless of which social media site they visit to check you out. Create yourself a professional Facebook page, as well as Google+ and Twitter. Only link to your professional pages from your CV and never your personal accounts.
Match your information with your CV
Ensure that all of the information you provide on your online profile matches that held within your CV. There should never be any information that contradicts what you have listed, so make sure that your qualifications match exactly with each other and the dates for your work experience are the same on both your CV and your profile.
To save the employer some time, you can include links to your online profile from your CV. This will help to make it easy for the employer to find you online, but will also be a great leverage tool should they be faced between choosing your CV over a rival candidate that hasn’t included a link.