If you’re a parent with a teenager who has a boyfriend or girlfriend, or are single and someone is trying to woo you, you most likely went online and looked for that person’s Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter accounts to see who they really are. As you delved deeper, you looked at images, read posts, noticed who they’re connected with, and if they had a website, you probably read almost every page. By the end of your investigation, you decided whether this person was good for you or your child. Guess what, the government, universities and businesses do the same thing. Welcome to the NEW resume – your website, blog and social media.
What many people fail to understand is they are a business by default. When you apply for a job, the company is not hiring you, you are selling them your skillset. How well you can perform what they need and how much you know determines the price (salary or wage). Don’t believe it? See what happens when your employer thinks you’re outdated or obsolete. He or she will BUY (yes, buy) someone else’s product (their skillset) – they’ll hire a new employee.
Let’s take this one step further. You’re not an employee; you’re applying for a job. The company has NO idea who you are and what you have to offer. They decide to check all applicant’s online presence. They look for your social-media activity, blog and website. You took the time to write, video and record your ideas, and packaged it professionally. Your website and blog are impressive, and your social-media history is replete with value. They see you belong to professional groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, and have engaged in conversation strings. What impression do you think they would have of you now? What value may they think you bring to the company? How much do you think they believe you may be worth?
Some people think this is a bad thing. The reality is it’s neither good nor bad, it just is. And knowing the reality of this paradigm shift can become a huge asset or liability.
For many, it’s an albatross weighing them down. Why? Believing one has anonymity behind a keyboard is naïve! So they’ve posted whatever tickled their fancy, giving no thought to whether it may have repercussions. If this is you, you’ll want to do some clean up. If you’re not sure whether or not it would affect you, ask a business person what would they think of a possible employee if they found that video, meme or image. If they find it distasteful, delete it.
For others, it has become a weakness, because they saw no importance to being online that they have little to nothing to be found. While privacy advocates would cheer, having nothing is equally bad; because your competition most likely has a presence. When a corporation decides to check if you fit their culture and what skills you bring to the table, and find nothing – chances are they’ll look at the next person on their list.
Then there are those who, whether by design or chance, decided to create a website/blog to express their ideas and share them through social media. Over time they’ve accumulated a library of articles and videos, and a good following online. While it may not be polished, it depicts how he or she thinks and this has value.
This is today’s reality. If you have a good presence, look for ways to make it better. Polish up your site, write substantive articles and look at your social-media history. Remove the fluff and leave the value.
If you have a lot of partying years in your accounts, go through it and remove the posts which are folly, offensive and/or political. You don’t have to remove all your personal postings, as it shows your personality. However, you want to be wise and use good judgement as to what you DO leave.
Finally, if you have nothing, then what are you waiting for? Unless you are content with your current situation and don’t expect it ever to change, then disregard this article. However, if you want to create an asset that’ll never disappear and bring more future value (after all, if you keep adding articles and substantive content, it will become more valuable overtime), giving you a powerful tool for if and when you need it, then you need to start now.
The most painful thing is being in a dire situation and not to having your NEW resume ready to open doors of opportunity. So don’t delay – start today!