While you might not even think about how your social media can affect your success in finding a new job, making a very positive first impression online has become an essential step in getting called in for an interview or getting your dream job. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn … there are various ways an employer can find you before the actual first meeting, and with these quick tips, you can make sure your social media profiles and online CV are ready to impress your future employer!
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What your employer will immediately see once you send your CV/LinkedIn profile is your picture, so take your time with taking the perfect photo. Instead of a regular selfie, ask a friend to help you out and take a picture, and find a neutral background with good lighting. Have a good, confident and natural pose on the photo (keep your chin up and your back straight), and don’t worry if the first few photos don’t come out the way you planned … taking the perfect professional profile picture takes time.
The Right Makeup & Outfit
Create a natural makeup look (use a sheer coverage foundation, mascara and lip balm, but there is no need to create a more edgy look or a bold lip for your professional photo), and have a smart casual look (such as a blouse, shirt or blazer dress). These details will all show that you care enough to create a professional photo and will immediately make a better first impression than a random photo from 3 years ago.
A Confident Smile
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Although it’s professional, you don’t have to look all serious, so don’t be afraid to have a confident, small smile on your profile picture. Keep in mind the importance of a neat, elegant look and a perfect, white smile. Just as you wouldn't want to show off any redness on your skin or dark under eye circles, you definitely want your teeth to look white, strong and healthy. A nice smile will instantly make you more memorable and likeable. For a brighter, whiter smile, consider whitening your teeth at home with a whitening kit before having your new photos taken.
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Past Employer References
Once you have the perfect profile picture, it’s time to focus on the professional content and polish your CV a bit. A super easy trick that will definitely make your application stand out from the rest is actual past employer references. Besides including your related work experience, ask for a few references (just a few sentences) from your most important past jobs and add these to your CV. Breaking up each reference into smaller parts is a great way to keep your resume interesting and more readable than having a one-page novel from only one employer. For creative positions, you can also include samples of your work or share your own experience and thoughts in a few sentences to make your application more personal.
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Once you start using LinkedIn, make sure to add everyone you’d ever worked. This will not only prove that you have relevant experience in that area (as well as in other areas as well), but will also show the employer that you have a good connection with past employers and know how to build professional relationships. It also makes it easier for the employer to view your past experiences.
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Of course, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are meant for personal use, but some employers like to take a look at your personal profiles as well before calling in for an interview, so make sure to manage it in a clever way.
When posting a photo, always think through if you’d like to share it publicly or only with your friends. If you decide to only share it with your friends, your future employer won’t see it right away, so it is a great way to separate your private life from your professional life. While we all tend to forget the public and safety settings sometimes, it is essential to consider what we’d like to share publicly.
Check the photos you post publicly, especially just before the first job interview – there is nothing wrong with looking more casual and having fun on these photos (after all, it is your personal account where you can post whatever you would like to) - but keep in mind that everyone can see them.
Now you’re all set – good luck!