Now that your digital dirt is cleaned up, an important but often ignored next step involves DITCHING YOUR DIGITAL DRAMA! Before you begin your job search, make sure you examine your online presence and clean up your act by following these simple tips:
- Clean up your online attitude! It doesn't fly to present yourself as a positive, driven person in the interview and then spend hours each evening online complaining about your current job or whining about how hard it is to find a job. I just read two entries from two different job seekers that were lamenting the fact that employers are taking longer to fill open slots—waiting for the absolute perfect candidate instead of employing "average," but available, candidates who could be filling the slot and getting some of the results rather than letting the job sit empty. The issue? It never dawned on the two job seekers to improve themselves so that they were the perfect candidates. Instead, they went online encouraging employers to "settle" for good enough because they "deserved" a chance.
- Avoid controversial topics. Clean up derogatory remarks about other people, including questionable jokes, videos, pro-union remarks, and even radical viewpoints. I once came across a man online who had applied for a job as an executive in charge of diversity who was saying unfavorable things about women's sports online. Needless to say he was not a top candidate.
- Turn off your digital locator. Checking into places on your Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare tells way too much about your personal life.
- Use your online presence for good, not evil. Rather than using your time online for endless hours of mindless games, tweet great quotes, write positive things, and generate funds for great causes.
- Make sure your digital print matches your resume. If you state that you are heavily involved in an association, there should be some record of it online.
- Get involved in your profession. Connect with, follow and join discussion groups that are affiliated with your profession, and actively participate in the dialogue. It is a great way to show that you value your profession. It also gives you a great venue to publicly present your positive and unique viewpoints about issues in your field.
If you are having to hide a great deal of your digital life from current and future employers, that should be a huge wake-up call to do a massive makeover of your mindset and view of the world rather than just a tune-up of your online presence. Join the Reality Based Leadership revolution today and ditch the drama in all areas of your life. It might just pay off in the job search.
Cy Wakeman is a dynamic keynote speaker advocating a revolutionary new approach to leadership. Her groundbreaking ideas are featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and www.SHRM.org. Her book, Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, & Turn Excuses Into Results (Jossey-Bass, 2010) is available for order at all major online book retailers. For more information, visit www.cywakeman.com.