How we work and look for jobs has changed due to increased connectivity from the Internet. The worldwide lockdowns because of the Covid-19 pandemic have only sped things up and the dynamics of looking for a job have changed for good. One’s online profile has never been more relevant.
If you are looking for a job right now, know that you should take some time to study your profile. Nowadays, you’ll need more than a good resume to land a job. Recruiters go through hundreds of online profiles each day so how can you make yours stand out and get chosen?
Research suggests that first impressions based on your profile picture can get carried offline. So start with a good headshot by following these basic principles backed by psychology:
- Show your teeth when you smile
- Go for a head-to-shoulders shot
- Remove eyeglasses or anything covering the eyes
- Show a clear jawline
- Go for dark suits or light-colored button-downs
After taking a winning headshot, get to know what other tools are necessary to boost your online profile so you can get hired.
Aside from your profile photo, you’ll need an excellent cover photo that will add to people’s first impression of you. Editing programs like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are great to use when you’re on your laptop but we prefer to use something simpler when we need to make awesome graphics using a mobile phone.
Instasize is a handy editing app with multiple usability. It has all the features for creating a professional-looking cover photo or LinkedIn banner. You can make improvements to your photo settings, make collages, add creative borders, and add text to fully customize any image. If you’re an iPhone user, you can even use Beauty Tools to retouch your headshot or profile photo. You can download the app on the iOS App Store and on Google Play.
Canva has made it easier to create graphics of a professional caliber so everyone can enjoy the benefits of good design. You can use Canva’s editing capabilities to upload a cover photo or banner to help you get noticed. Browse different templates, choose from different layouts, and customize your image to your liking. The controls are simple and intuitive. You’ll even enjoy the process!
Now that you’ve got good quality graphics, you’re going to have to sound professional in all of your written output. Your “About Me” section, cover letter, resume, and each email you send requires correct grammar and style. No matter your English fluency, Grammarly is a writing tool that could save you from avoidable errors and judgment. It checks for basic grammar and spelling while also giving you style tips to polish your tone.
If you want to elevate your chances of getting hired, you can take things to the next level by setting up a website. A website can be used to showcase your portfolio, link all your work in one place, and even publish recommendations or reviews from previous employers or customers. Making a website used to be a technical challenge but website-builders like Squarespace have streamlined the challenge into a seamless and beautiful process. From securing your own domain to designing the key elements of your page, you’ll find Squarespace’s drag-and-drop builder a breeze.
If you are a model, photographer, designer, or if you just want to share your visual work, you will need an outstanding online portfolio. Putting your portfolio online makes it easy for people to find your work. Jimdo can help you build your online portfolio and connect with other creatives in your field. Aside from a well-styled layout, you’ll also tap into a wider audience that can enhance your professional network.
6. Google Yourself
Managing your online reputation extends beyond just your profile! Recruiters may search your name online to see what comes up, which is why you need to do this now. Knowing what articles pop up with your name and what photos or videos your friends may have tagged you in is the difference between getting hired and getting prematurely judged.
If you see any information that may be sensitive or embarrassing, you can contact Google about what you’ll have to do to get it removed.
Using these tools to improve your online profile is part of the “new normal” in today’s job market. We can choose to adapt or we can get left behind and overshadowed by other candidates whose online profiles look sharper and sound smarter. So take no chances and review everything in your profile — from your profile and cover images to your written content.
Once you capture your potential employer’s attention, you’ll be contacted for an interview. Before your interview, you should read up on the kind of questions to expect from the recruitment team as well as what they deem red flags among candidates.
About the Author
Denise Langenegger is part of the team at Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile.