My friend asked me to review her online presence. She is new to the job market so I started by looking at her resume. She was using an AOL email address. In my world, even 5+ years ago, AOL was for people who had technophobia. In 2009, a dated or inappropriate email address is a big problem for a person looking for a new position.
If you have an outmoded email address, I suggest you go to Google and sign up for a Gmail account. Here’s why:
• It’s good to have 2 email addresses, including at least one that you can always access from wherever you are (not just from your home computer).
• Gmail doesn’t identify your geography. My road runner account does. Big deal? Maybe not, but do you want to be eliminated at the email address from a hiring manager looking at your credentials?
• It’s the email address that many professionals have.
There are other services beside Gmail, pick one and go for it. I have a twitter, Linked In and regular email account. What do you think this says about me?
Next I looked at her Linked In profile. No photo. Hmmm. Her profile did not look as professional as those with photos. If I’m the hiring manager I’m wondering, “Is she hiding something?” Is she older? Post your photo or not, it’s up to you. But realize the ramifications if you don’t post a picture may be negative. I hear excellent Linked In advice to fill out your profile completely. I haven’t done that yet. I’m at 80+% I need to finish it by getting recommendations. Making sure it’s complete will help you get ‘found’ when companies are looking to hire.
The link below is written by an HR person took a pile of 850 resumes and whittled it down to 15. Here are some of the criteria that she used.
• Any resume (about 20%) that had misspellings was tossed out.
• Any unprofessional Linked In or Facebook entry was tossed out.
Take a minute and read her informative story.
I just read a story about a woman who reported to her first day of work to her new supervisor’s office and on his desk was the thank you note she had written to him. He told her that she was the only person who had hand written a note and it really impressed him. A handwritten thank you note may not get you the job, but it may be one of the differentiators between you and your competition.
Joe WernerJune 17, 2009
Great post Deb. These are all things that I’ve picked up on over the last 4 months, but some of these weren’t so obvious to me when I first started my search. Anyone who is just now finding themselves in the job market for the first time in years would be well-advised to read this blog. Things have changed immensely in the last few years.
DeborahJune 17, 2009
thanks Joe, I completely agree that what i knew about looking for a job prior to 2008-2009 is not as relevant. I am grateful we have so many local resources to help us find the new path. D
Chris BigelowJune 20, 2009
Another informative post, Deb. The winnowing process is real – hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people apply for every position advertised. At the most basic level you need to be sure you don’t screen yourself out with some of the mentioned gaffs. Beyond that, you need to find ways to set yourself apart from the other candidates. This is “not your father’s job market.”
DeborahJune 21, 2009
Hi Chris, thanks for the comment. I agree and that’s why social media tools can really expand your visibility because Visibility can = opportunity. Not only is this ‘not your father’s job market” – it’s not even a job market that I understood 5- 6 years ago. The game has changed, our cheese has been moved! You are an inspiration to many of how to get out there and do it right. Check out chris’ blog http://cbbigelow.wordpress.com/