Perfecting Your Job Interview Elevator Pitch

Perfecting Your Job Interview Elevator Pitch

Picture this: you’re in an elevator, and you bump into the CEO of your dream company. You have 30 seconds to make an impression before they step out. What do you say? This is where a well-crafted elevator pitch comes to the rescue. In today’s competitive job market, having a compelling elevator pitch, or a short, highlight overview of yourself professionally, can be the key to unlocking new opportunities and making a lasting impression. Whether it is a spur of the moment in an actual elevator, or during an interview when you are asked one of the most common questions, “Tell us about yourself”, it is important to be prepared and have your pitch ready to go. In this blog we are going to dive deeper into the art of mastering your job interview elevator pitch, so you can ensure you are prepared whenever necessary!

 

Key Takeaways

  • Craft an elevator pitch that highlights your unique background, skills, and conveys the value you can bring to the company
  • Tailor your pitch to each target audience, practice regularly, and be conversational & engaging when delivering
  • Avoid common pitfalls such as speaking too quickly or using overly technical language for maximum impact

 

The Importance of an Elevator Pitch

The Importance of an Elevator Pitch

The significance of an elevator pitch lies in the brief timeframe where you can effectively highlight your competencies, exhibit your professionalism, and make a memorable impact. Whether it’s during your next job interview, a professional networking event, or an out of the blue encounter with your future boss at your local coffee shop-  having a good elevator pitch can be a game changer in your job search.

Think of your elevator pitch sort of like your cover letter on the go- designed to capture the attention of potential employers in a compelling way quickly. It’s your chance to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate why you’re the ideal candidate for that dream job. Remember, first impressions count – and having your pitch ready can lead to unexpected opportunities that could propel your career to new heights. This is what makes an elevator pitch important.

 

Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

How to Create an Elevator Pitch

A good quality elevator pitch is meant to be comprehensive and memorable. This is your shot to showcase why you are the person for the job or opportunity, and what makes you different from everyone else.

An impactful elevator pitch stems from:

  • Recognizing your unique selling points
  • Customizing your message for the intended listeners
  • Constructing a succinct message that underlines your abilities, ambitions, and the unique value you offer

We’ll delve into these steps further for a comprehensive understanding of crafting a  stand out elevator pitch.

 

Identify your unique selling points

Recognizing your unique selling points forms the foundation of an influential elevator pitch.

Steps to get started: 

  1. Reflect on your strengths, achievements, and what sets you apart from other candidates
  2. Keep in mind that the goal is to present a high-level summary of your professional experience
  3. Think about the specific position or company and highlight how your experience makes you the best fit for the opportunity

When selecting achievements to include in your pitch, focus on specific examples that demonstrate your capabilities and qualifications. Emphasize relevant achievements and successes that showcase your skills and make you stand out from other candidates.

✨ Tip: Need help identifying your top selling points and building out your personal brand? Chat with one of our ResumeSpice team members who focuses on all things career coaching. 

 

Tailor your pitch to the target audience

Your elevator pitch should be adaptable to suit the specific needs of the potential employer.

How to tailor your pitch:

  • Research the company and role you’re applying for
  • Demonstrate your interest in the company and your understanding of the role
  • Address any company goals or pain points in your pitch and loop in how your expertise aligns

By following these tips, you can create a compelling elevator pitch that stands out to potential employers, even if you have to use an elevator to reach them.

✨ Tip: While constructing your pitch, employ straightforward language that caters to a broad audience. Avoid technical jargon and industry-specific terms that may confuse listeners. Instead, be clear and concise, ensuring your message resonates with the listener.

 

Develop a clear and concise message

A compelling elevator pitch is short and direct. Aim for 20-60 seconds, focusing on the most crucial aspects of your background and achievements. Remember, the goal is to capture the listener’s attention and leave them wanting to learn more about you.

Include a call to action in your pitch to encourage further discussion or engagement with the listener. This could be asking for a follow-up meeting or directing them to your LinkedIn or online portfolio.

 

Elevator Pitch Examples

Professional Elevator Pitch Examples

To ensure your pitch is impactful, aim to deliver it with clarity, concision, and confidence. A strong elevator pitch should be professional, organized, and captivating to the listener.

Include these key components in your elevator pitch:

  1. Introduction
  2. Summary of what you do
  3. Value proposition
  4. Specification of what you want
  5. Closing

For inspiration, let’s explore a few successful personal sales pitch examples from mock industry professionals of different experience levels. Note how these pitches are quick, informative, engaging, and tailored to the specific job role or situation, making them the perfect elevator pitch.

Entry level example:

“Hi, my name is Jane, and I am a recent graduate from NYU with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I am new to the business world, but have a passion for helping companies grow through effective and intentional digital marketing strategies. During my internship at XYZ Marketing Agency, I successfully managed cross-platform digital campaigns for several clients, increasing their online engagement on average by 22%. After researching your company, I feel my experience and values align greatly with your brand. I am very excited about the opportunity to bring my skillset to your company and would love to set up a time to discuss the open Digital Marketing Coordinator position further.”

Mid-level example:

“Hi, my name is John and I’m a software engineer with 7 years of experience developing innovative solutions for the healthcare industry. My most recent project involved leading the creation of a mobile app that streamlined patient records and appointment scheduling for a large hospital network. I’m open and looking for new opportunities to leverage my technical skills and passion for improving healthcare system efficiency. I have heard great things about your startup and feel my background and expertise align well with your goals and the direction you're looking to take the company. I’d love to discuss any open opportunities on your software engineering team. Do you have time for a quick chat? Otherwise here is my business card with my contact information.”

Executive-level example:

“My name is Margaret and I am a results-oriented executive with over 23-years of experience in strategic leadership and business development. During that time I've helped multiple companies successfully execute go to market strategies. I understand that for the Business Development Executive role at ABC Company, it is a top priority for you to find someone who can implement client-centric strategies, oversee and lead high-performing teams, and implement new cutting-edge technologies. I believe my background perfectly aligns with what you are looking for, and I would love to dive a bit deeper into how my executive expertise can help push ABC Company forward.”

 

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch Delivery

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch Delivery

With your elevator pitch now outlined and prepped, it’s time to concentrate on rehearsing and refining your presentation. Feeling confident and continuing to hone in on the delivery of your pitch can only prepare you even more for an on-the-spot moment with a potential work opportunity. It is best to practice your pitch regularly, be conversational and engaging, and let your passion for the role and company shine through. After all, this is a unique, professional highlight reel of you!

 

Practice makes perfect

Practicing your elevator pitch is vital for fine-tuning your timing, facial expressions, and self-assurance. The more you practice, the more natural your pitch will feel, and the better equipped you’ll be to deliver it in high-pressure situations.

Best practices for rehearsing your elevator pitch:

  1. Practice in front of a mirror to observe your body language and facial expressions
  2. Practice with friends or family members who can provide valuable feedback
  3. Record yourself practicing and listen back to identify areas for improvement
  4. Practice in different settings and scenarios to prepare for high-pressure situations

Remember, your elevator pitch should sound like a genuine conversation, not a scripted monologue. Make sure your pitch flows naturally and avoid sounding robotic.

✨ Tip: Practice giving your pitch as if you were speaking to a friend, and you’ll find it easier to engage the listener!

 

Be conversational and engaging

While presenting your personal sales pitch, it’s pivotal to articulate clearly and use comprehensive, straightforward language. Avoid technical terms and industry-specific verbiage that may confuse the listener. Instead, focus on conveying your message in a conversational and captivating way that everyone can comprehend. An effective elevator speech can make all the difference in capturing your audience’s attention and leave them with a lasting impression of you.

 

Show enthusiasm and passion

Your zest and fervor for the role and organization can shine through in your elevator pitch via a genuine smile, steady eye contact, and an evident display of excitement. A smile and positive body language can go a long way in making a lasting impression on the listener.

Remember, people are drawn to those who are passionate and excited about what they do. Let your pitch reflect your enthusiasm for the opportunity, and you’ll be one step closer to landing your desired role. This advice is especially valuable for job seekers who want to stand out in the competitive market!

 

Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Elevator Pitch

Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Elevator Pitch

There are a few common mistakes to steer clear of when presenting your elevator pitch that can leave your listener feeling overwhelmed and disengaged.

Don't:

  • Speak too fast
  • Ramble
  • Use overly technical language

Do:

  • Be concise
  • Speak clearly
  • Engage your audience
  • Smile
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Ensure you are easy to understand and relatable

And again, don’t forget to practice your pitch regularly, but note that over-rehearsing can make you sound robotic and unnatural, while under-preparation can lead to a lack of confidence in your delivery. Strive for a balance between the two, allowing your pitch to flow naturally.

 

Adapting Your Elevator Pitch for Different Situations

Tips for Adapting Your Elevator Pitch for Different Situations

While a general, high-quality elevator pitch is crucial to have on deck, customizing your pitch according to each situation signifies your respect and thought for the listener’s time and your specific interest in the job or company. Whether it’s a career fair, professional networking event, or job interview, always customize your pitch to the specific audience.

For instance, at a career fair, you might emphasize your recent achievements and career goals, while at a networking event, you could focus on your professional experience and the value you bring to potential collaborations. By adapting your personal sales pitch to suit the situation, you demonstrate your versatility and preparedness for any opportunity that comes your way.

✨ Tip: Need a bit more guidance on elevator pitches and interview prep in general? Our ResumeSpice team offers tailored, professional interview coaching!

 

Summary

In conclusion, crafting a compelling job interview elevator pitch is an essential skill for today’s job active seekers. By identifying your unique selling points, tailoring your pitch to the target audience, and perfecting your delivery, you can make a lasting impression on potential employers and take a significant step toward landing your next role. Remember, practice makes perfect, and with dedication and persistence, you’ll become a master of the art of the perfect elevator pitch.

 

Q&A

Perfecting Your Job Interview Elevator Pitch 

What are the 3 C's to remember when creating an elevator pitch?

A great elevator pitch should be executed with Clarity, Concision, and Confidence to make a lasting impression on the listener. 

What is the ideal length for an elevator pitch during a job interview?

An elevator pitch should be short, sweet, and to the point. We recommend keeping it around 20-60 seconds long.

How can you tailor your elevator pitch to a specific audience?

  • Research your audience
  • Highlight relevant points from your background that would benefit them
  • Use language and verbiage they will easily understand
  • Emphasize shared values
  • Address their potential pain points and note how you could help alleviate them
  • Be flexible- adapt your tone and style to their energy and demeanor 
  • End with a relevant call to action 

 

Need Some Help Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch?

We are here to help! Our ResumeSpice team may be known for being the #1 rated resume writing service in the US, but that's not all we do. Our dedicated team is here to help you feel confident and prepared to stand out in the job market. From helping guide you in creating the perfect elevator pitch, to working with you on customized interview prep, tailored career coaching, professional LinkedIn profile writing, and more, we are your resource! Check out all of our career services here, and give us a call at 832.930.7378 or connect with us online.

 

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile: Tips To Stand Out

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile: Tips to Stand Out
Are you ready to take your LinkedIn profile to new heights? In today’s competitive job market, and with millions of active platform users, having a well-crafted and optimized profile is more important now than ever. It’s time to unlock the full potential of your professional brand and make a lasting impression. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover the top tips to craft an impactful, optimized LinkedIn profile in 2023 and truly stand out from the crowd.

Key Takeaways

  • Optimize your profile to showcase expertise, build connections, and increase visibility
  • Personalize elements of your profile with a professional headshot, background photo, and a strategic headline
  • Share content, follow and engage with influencers, and regularly update/improve your profile for career growth opportunities

Why is your LinkedIn Profile Important?

Your LinkedIn profile is your digital business card, showcasing your professional brand to millions of professionals worldwide. It’s more than just a platform to connect; it’s a place to demonstrate your expertise, share your achievements, network with like-minded professionals, and even land your next role. 

By optimizing your profile, you increase your visibility in search results, making it more likely for potential employers, recruiters, and connections to find you. True optimization means including relevant keywords, a professional profile picture, and up-to-date information about your current and past positions.

Remember, a fully optimized LinkedIn can open doors to new opportunities and help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

 

Choosing a Quality Profile Photo

Choosing a Quality Profile Photo to Optimize Your LinkedIn Account

A picture is worth a thousand words, and your profile picture is no exception. Your profile picture is the first thing people see, so it’s essential to make a strong first impression. You can read more about the importance of having a professional picture for LinkedIn here

LinkedIn sizing parameters for profile pictures are 400×400 pixels, and anything larger or smaller can be adjusted upon upload, so be sure to note this general sizing when taking your photos. 

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts when capturing your headshot: 

Do:

  • Use a professional or high-quality photo 
  • Utilize natural lighting
  • Choose a recent photo of yourself in professional attire
  • Opt for an image with your face occupying around 60% of the frame
  • Choose a suitable or solid-color background

Don't:

  • Opt for a selfie
  • Use filters
  • Take your photo with a distracting, busy background

Personalizing Your Background Image

While your profile picture is crucial, don’t overlook the importance of your background photo. A customized background image can differentiate you from others and emphasize your personal brand. Choose an image that reflects your personality, interests, or industry. The background image will need to be formatted as a JPG or PNG and will be automatically sized to 1584×396 pixels upon upload to fit into the LinkedIn sizing format.   

A well-chosen background adds context and makes your profile more visually appealing and interesting. Need some inspiration? Check out this list of LinkedIn background photos for 21 different industries

Crafting an Engaging Headline

Your headline is the first glimpse into your professional world, so it’s essential to craft an engaging and informative one that will catch people’s eye. It should go beyond your job title and highlight your expertise. Take a look below at an example and best practices on how to craft your own impactful headline. 

Example LinkedIn Headline Utilizing Keywords: 

  • Human Resources Director | DEI Training & Initiatives | Talent Acquisition | Employee Culture

Diving into the Human Resources Director example above- this headline doesn’t just state a position but delves deeper, highlighting specialized areas within human resources, such as DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives, talent acquisition, and fostering employee culture.

To craft a headline like this:

  1. Begin with your primary role or job title. In this case, it's “Human Resources Director”
  2. List the specific domains or functions you excel in, which can serve as relevant keywords. Here, they are “DEI Training & Initiatives,” “Talent Acquisition,” and “Employee Culture”
  3. Remember to convey a blend of your core competencies and unique selling points. This approach not only displays your breadth of expertise but also catches the eye of those seeking specific skills or knowledge

By following this guideline, you can create a LinkedIn headline that gives viewers a comprehensive understanding of your professional persona at a glance. Here are a couple more successful example headlines: 

 Examples of an Impactful Headlines for Your LinkedIn Profile

Examples of an Impactful Headlines for Your LinkedIn Profile

Writing a Compelling LinkedIn Summary

Your summary is the heart of your profile, providing an overview of your professional story, highlighting your skills, and incorporating relevant keywords to optimize visibility. To write a compelling summary, use a conversational tone and focus on your passions, motivations, and the impact you’ve made in your career.

Tip: Utilize AI tools like Chat GPT to help get your writing wheels turning! 

Include anecdotes, achievements, and personal traits to showcase who you are as a person, not just as a professional. Remember, a well-crafted summary is an opportunity to connect with your audience and demonstrate your unique value. Check out a few additional tips on writing an impactful LinkedIn Summary. 

Example Summary:

Accomplished Sales Account Manager with a track record of driving client success, revenue growth, and impactful global campaigns. My focus on fostering relationships and meticulous attention to detail consistently exceed client expectations.

I thrive on building customized strategies that align with my clients’ unique goals and vision. It's in these subtleties that long-lasting partnerships are forged.

My commitment to excellence has helped me deliver bespoke strategies and refined campaigns, resulting in a 20-40% boost in client lead generation and a 15-25% increase in overall regional sales.

Seeking a Sales Account Manager skilled in cultivating client partnerships, leveraging attention to detail, and propelling both business growth and revenue? Let's connect and drive results together.

Enhancing Your Experience Section

How to Optimize Your Experience Section on LinkedIn

Your job titles and experience section is the foundation of your profile. It’s crucial to optimize this section with relevant keywords, concise descriptions, and highlight your key accomplishments. To enhance your job and experience section, include core job responsibilities, duties, and key highlights from each role. 

If your job title isn’t commonly known, consider providing an equivalent title to avoid confusion. This will make your profile more accessible to potential employers and showcase your industry expertise. Here is an example of a well-executed job listing:

Updating Your Job and Experience Section to Optimize LinkedIn Profile Page

 

Uploading your Resume to your Profile 

To enhance your online visibility even further, we suggest uploading your current resume to your LinkedIn profile. By building out your profile you can increase your chances of connecting with industry-specific recruiters and hiring managers. Follow the link for a step-by-step guide on uploading your resume to LinkedIn. 

Showcasing Your Skills and Endorsements

Your skills and endorsements are a vital part of your profile, validating your headline and summary, while offering a platform for others to vouch for you. LinkedIn allows you to select up to 50 skills, be sure to list as many skills as applicable to your profession, and highlight your most relevant skills by pinning your top three in the Skills section.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Skills Section

Examples of hard skills: SEO Marketing, Java, Python, Management, Copywriting 

Examples of soft skills: Communication, Problem Solving, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, Decision-Making 

You can further engage your network by endorsing people’s listed skills, as well as having them return the favor and endorse yours. To increase your endorsements, review your connections, and endorse those you believe deserve it. Additionally, consider sending a courteous message requesting endorsement for specific skills. By showcasing your skills and endorsements, you increase your profile’s trustworthiness and credibility.

Leveraging Recommendations

Leveraging Recommendations to Optimize Your Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Recommendations provide a firsthand account of your collaborations, accomplishments, and abilities, which can significantly enhance your page's credibility. To leverage recommendations, request personalized endorsements from colleagues, clients, and supervisors.

Customize your recommendation requests to convey your appreciation and willingness to put in extra effort. By obtaining and utilizing personalized recommendations, you demonstrate your strengths and expertise to potential employers and connections.

Utilizing the Featured Section

The Featured section on LinkedIn offers a unique opportunity to showcase your best work. To make the most of this section, include a diverse range of accomplishments that highlight your expertise, passion, and dedication.

Utilizing the Featured Section to Optimize Your Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Utilizing the Featured Section to Optimize Your Perfect LinkedIn Profile

⭐ Consider adding the following to your LinkedIn Featured section:

  • Articles you’ve written
  • Projects you’ve completed
  • Awards you’ve received
  • Certifications you’ve earned

Sharing Relevant Content and Engaging with Your Network

Sharing valuable content and engaging with your network not only increases your visibility but also helps establish your thought leadership. Curate and share content that aligns with your industry, interests, and expertise. Comment on posts, engage in discussions, and offer insights to demonstrate your passion for your field.

Here are a few examples of content to share with your network: 

  • Educational Posts: Providing valuable insights, tips, and best practices relevant to your industry can position you as an expert and attract professionals and potential connections seeking knowledge
  • Thought Leadership: Sharing well-researched perspectives on industry trends and challenges can help you stand out as a thought leader in your field
  • Personal Stories: Authentic stories about your professional journey, challenges you've overcome, and lessons you've learned can humanize your brand and create a strong connection with your audience and other leaders
  • Case Studies: Showcasing successful projects or initiatives you've been involved in demonstrates your skills and expertise in a tangible way
  • Visual Content: Images, infographics, and videos can capture attention quickly and effectively convey information, making them engaging options for sharing content

Expanding Your Network

Networking is essential for increasing your page visibility and opportunities in your industry. To expand your network, connect with relevant professionals, sync your email contacts, and attend industry events.

By actively engaging with others and building meaningful connections, you’ll unlock new opportunities and create a strong foundation for your professional growth.

 

Keeping Your Location and Contact Information Updated

Updating Your Location and Contact Information on LinkedIn

Maintaining up-to-date location and contact information on your profile is crucial for ensuring you’re easily reachable and visible to potential employers. Regularly review and update your location and contact information, including phone number and email address.

 

Customizing Your LinkedIn URL

Creating a personalized LinkedIn URL not only makes your profile easier to find, but also demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism. Replace the random string of numbers in your URL with your full name or industry-specific keywords to create a unique and memorable web address.

How to Customize your LinkedIn Profile URL 

Embracing LinkedIn's Creator Mode

LinkedIn’s Creator mode is a powerful tool that can help you expand your reach and influence on the platform. By activating Creator mode, you gain access to additional tools and features that enable content creation and audience growth.

How to Turn On LinkedIn Creator Mode to Optimize Profile

Embrace Creator mode to showcase your content, connect with your target audience, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

 

Highlighting Your Services and Expertise

The Services section on LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for consultants, freelancers, and small business owners to display the services they provide. Use the Services section to showcase your offerings and expertise, making your profile more attractive to potential clients and employers.

Highlighting your Services and Expertise to Increase LinkedIn Optimization

⭐ Examples of Showcasing Services Offered: Freelance Copywriting, Social Media Management, Ghost Writing, Content Creation, Graphic Design

By highlighting your services and expertise, you demonstrate your value and commitment to your profession.

 

Participating in Skills Assessments

By taking skills assessments, you can significantly enhance your profile’s credibility and attractiveness to recruiters. Earn verified skills badges by participating in assessments related to your field. These badges showcase your expertise, increase your profile’s credibility, and help you stand out from the competition.

How to Showcase Your Skills on LinkedIn

Participating in Skills Assessments to Optimize a Perfect LinkedIn Profile

 

Following Industry Influencers and Interests

Engaging With Industry Influencers and Interests to Optimize Your LinkedIn Presence

Staying informed and engaged with industry influencers and interests is essential for demonstrating your passion and curating a valuable news feed. Follow industry influencers, interests, and organizations to stay up-to-date on trends, insights, and opportunities in your field. Engage with the content they share and contribute to discussions to showcase your expertise and commitment to your industry.

 

Personalizing Connection Invites

Sending customized connection requests is crucial for building meaningful relationships on LinkedIn. To craft personalized connection invites we recommend the following:

  • Highlight shared interests or reasons for connecting
  • Include a polite greeting
  • Reference your prior connection (if applicable)
  • Provide a concise explanation for your request

Summary

In conclusion, crafting an optimized LinkedIn profile in 2023 is about showcasing your unique value, expertise, and achievements. By following these tips, you’ll create a standout profile that attracts potential employers, clients, and connections. So, start optimizing your profile today and unlock the full potential of your professional brand on LinkedIn.

 

Common Questions Around Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Common Questions Around Optimizing Your Perfect LinkedIn Profile

What exactly is optimization?

Optimization is the process of making a design, system, decision or anything as perfect, functional and effective as possible through mathematical procedures such as finding the maximum of a function.

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, it simply means that your profile is as tailored and as honed in as can be. 

What are the key elements of an optimized LinkedIn profile?

An optimized LinkedIn profile should include relevant keywords, a professional profile picture, up-to-date information about your current and past positions, a customized background photo, an engaging headline, and a compelling summary for maximum visibility

How often should I update my LinkedIn?

Continuous improvement is essential for showcasing your growth, learning, and achievements on your LinkedIn profile. Regularly update your profile with new skills, accomplishments, and experiences. Engage with your network, share relevant content, and participate in industry discussions to demonstrate your dedication to personal and professional development.

How can I enhance my job titles and experience section on LinkedIn?

Make sure to add core job responsibilities and duties to your job titles, plus provide an equivalent title if it isn’t commonly known. Doing this can help enhance your job and experience section on LinkedIn.

Need a Bit More Guidance?

We are happy to help! As one of the best LinkedIn profile writing services, we are proud to have helped thousands of professionals – from early career job seekers to top-level executives – land their dream job. Our team is here to provide LinkedIn guidance and best practices, career guidance, interview prep, and more. Check out all of our career services here. You can also call us at 832.930.7378 or connect with us online.

 

Tips For Preparing Your Personal Brand For a Job Search

You’ve likely seen the term “personal branding” in blogs and articles as you’ve been preparing for your job search. Personal branding is how a candidate packages their skills, background, experience, and public persona in order to market themselves to potential employers.

A strong personal brand image could mean landing the job of your dreams while the wrong one could hurt your chances – or even worse, get you disqualified from consideration entirely.

Because finding – and keeping – a job is all about marketing yourself properly, let’s take a minute to cover a few key points that will boost your personal brand image.

Clean out your closet – your social media closet

Where do you think the first place employers look after they’ve seen your resume and are considering taking the next step? If you answered straight to your social media accounts, you’re correct. In fact, 52% of employers surveyed in CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey admit to taking to the web to research applicants.

Companies want to know that they’re hiring people of high integrity, so you want to make sure that everything you post on the internet projects your most “hirable” you.

The same CareerBuilder survey reported:

48 percent of hiring managers who research applicants on social media said they’ve found something that led them to not hire a candidate. Some of the top turn-offs include:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs – 46 percent
  • Information about candidate drinking or using drugs – 40 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee – 34 percent
  • Poor communication skills – 30 percent
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. – 29 percent

The takeaway is not that you can’t go out with your friends and have a good time – rather, be cognizant of the moments you choose to document and share.

Build up your online presence

We know we just told you to clean up your online presence, but there’s a flip side. This is about ensuring that your online presence reinforces a positive and professional perception; it’s about taking control and reshaping the information that can be found easily in an online search.

One of the first things we advise clients to do is ensure that they have an updated and professional LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is well indexed by Google, so when a recruiter searches your name online, your LinkedIn profile is likely to be one of the first results they would see. LinkedIn is also a great way to include projects you’ve worked on, papers you’ve published, or even interviews in which you’ve been quoted.

If you like to write or have an online portfolio to showcase, we typically suggest that your purchase your own website domain, such as www.JohnSmith.com. If you are unable to purchase your own domain, you can get one for free on sites like WordPress. The key is just to make sure that your full name is included in the URL, such as www.wordpress.JohnSmith.com. No matter which approach you take, strive to always keep it professional.

Behavior in the real world is just as important as your online presence

Many companies see their employees as extensions of their business, even after hours. Again, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a life. But if you want the job – or if you want to keep the one you have – you should be on your best behavior even outside of business hours.

Do you remember many years ago when a woman drove across country wearing a diaper? Do you remember her name? No? But you may remember who she worked for. After all these years, the only details most people recall about that strange event is that the woman worked for NASA.

Let us help

Personal branding isn’t easy and, but the good news is that you don’t have to go about it alone. If you need help marketing yourself to employers by creating a great resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile that highlight your personal brand, contact the career consultants at Resume Spice today. Let us help!