It is important to create an appealing online presence because your “online presence matters” to potential employers, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the modern digital era.
This was highlighted by Karen Lim, marketing and events manager of GradMalaysia/GTI Media, during her talk today on ‘Online Presence and LinkedIn’. Over 20 people attended the talk held in conjunction with WOU’s virtual career fair organised by the School of Business & Administration.
“It is highly likely in today’s job market that at some point in the hiring process, employers will look up candidates on LinkedIn and “Google” their names to see what they find,” she said, inquiring rhetorically, “Are you everywhere, participating in volunteer activities or company events? Is there another side to you than how you project yourself? What do you post/share?”
She recommended setting up a LinkedIn profile to create a professional online presence, and use that to look for jobs locally and overseas. She further suggested for participants to check out the expectations of employers before putting down skills and career interests under their profile when searching for jobs.
Lim urged participants to improve their online presence first. “If an employer searches your name, foremost they should access are your LinkedIn account and the online activities you are involved in. So manage your online activity carefully, as employers may go through your social media platforms.”
She offered the ‘ACE’ strategy – Achievements, Consistency and Extra Effort – in improving online presence.
“Showcase achievements in your work, university, society, etc in your LinkedIn profile, such as the organising of events and so forth, to show your leadership and other qualities,” she remarked. She informed that recruiters want to see what the candidates have achieved more than what they have done, hence they should quantify their work and university experiences.
She also called for consistency, making sure that a person’s online presence and social media are consistent, since recruiters use online platforms to screen through or hire candidates. “Make sure all information provided (online and offline) are accurate and consistent. Use the same name and email address on all job applications online and offline,” Lim stressed.
“You can go one step further and use the same profile picture so recruiters can recognise you across all platforms, including WhatsApp,” she continued. She strongly advised against using photos of cat, coffee or any random items on email accounts to avoid giving a bad impression to the employer.
For extra effort, she suggested using the many free tools to “up your game and make your online presence more visible” and to avoid typo, grammar mistakes, spelling error, etc, when applying for jobs online. Among the free tools available are Canva, Word Hippo, Grammarly, VisualCV, Powtoon, YouTube and Wix,.
She summed up: “Showcase your achievements. Be consistent with your contact details. Remain professional on social media accounts. Have separate accounts for work and play. LinkedIn is your friend, maximise its potential. Take professional photos for work purposes.”