During election seasons we have become accustomed to being inundated with commercials, print and online advertisements, brochures, billboards, sound bites, et al., touting why one candidate or platform is right and increasingly, why one candidate or platform is wrong.
This election season hasn’t been any different. We are exposed to a constant stream of politically charged rhetoric that is often emphatically presented to us as fact.
However, technology is changing the game, or at least leveling the playing field for those of us on the receiving end of these messages. Our ability to immediately check the facts related to any statement puts transparency, honesty and integrity into new light. This does not mean that lies, omissions and half-truths are things of the past, but it does make politicians more accountable for the statements they make.
If you are a student or recent graduate, you know that as easy as it is to copy and paste someone else’s work and present it in as your own, just as easily a professor can determine the originality of students’ work through the use of anti-plagiarism software.
The same holds true today in your job search.
Your online presence is as important, if not more important, than your resume. Your online profile makes it very easy to verify dates and access your current and former colleagues or connections even if they were not provided as a reference. Your weekend activities, good and bad, are visible. If you tweet, your interests and views are there for the judging.
Contrary to what is most likely popular belief, a recent article from the Harvard Business Review, ”Digital Staffing: The future of recruitment-by-algorithm,” says the Web can make recruiting less biased.
According to a 2012 survey by Jobsite, 54% of recruiters use Twitter, 66% Facebook, and a whopping 97% LinkedIn, as recruitment tools.
The big implication is that you need to invest a considerable amount of time managing your digital reputation. The only thing worse than not having a profile is having an undesirable profile. Indeed, your chances of being headhunted online are inversely related to the amount of inappropriate self-disclosure found in your Facebook or Twitter profile. Egosurfing — self-googling — is now more important than updating your CV.
Just as technology makes it much easier for journalists and citizens to determine whether statements made by politicians and elected officials are true, and just as professors use technology to determine the validity of students’ work, recruiters and HR professionals are increasingly using technology to determine if a candidate’s resume and professional presentation matches up with their online persona. Make sure that how you are presenting yourself professionally is mirrored in how you are presented online. Don’t wait, Google yourself today.