How are you perceived Online?
A brief article expressing the importance of professional online perception & representation.
There has been a constant evolution of the communications used in the pursuit of a new career or contract, in particular the ever increasing use of Skype, Viber & WhatsApp. The Consultants at WRS Tech have seen a sharp increase in the demand and use of multiple forms of communication between our clients and candidates, and in particular for conducting interviews.
WRS also uses multiple online communication platforms to grow our professional relationships, market jobs, find new marine and offshore talent as well mundane tasks such as chasing our contractors for time sheets and to keep our contacts on the other side of the world or offshore up to date with the cricket scores. With the global nature of international recruitment and the Marine markets WRS Tech supplies, the increase in clear methods of communication has been a boon to placing candidates to clients and projects who need them.
Whilst the progress has been an overall benefit, there are some unforeseen snags to the unwary.
Take yourself back to the old days of business; you had a business card, you met someone face to face in an office or in a nice hotel, you even got to post or fax a professional letter branded to suit all your prospective customers (with careful proof reading and countless last minute revisions conducted before sending). Lots of time and care was taken to make that positive impression and get your message across before you turned up to interview. This process has been stripped of its formality and sped up exponentially.
Now there are added layers to be considered.
First off all 7 out 10 employers search social media for the profiles of potential employee, photos meant to be shared with close confidants can often melt the professional image built up by a carefully sculpted CV and glowing professional references.
It is important to exercise control over your social media output and it is vital to use the privacy settings many of these platforms now allow. WRS Tech has also seen in the past defunct and unused social media (anyone remembers Myspace?) come back to haunt a well-qualified candidate…
Another common tripping point comes at the Interview stage when using a non-traditional communication methods (read Skype and Viber).
Put yourself in this situation, from the other side of the equation ….
You are a prospective employer and have a SKYPE interview scheduled with a prospective hot candidate, the employer sits down to dial up, and suddenly hesitates before clicking to start a video call ….
What faces them is something they didn’t quite expect, the profile picture is a Vicious looking Cat with a machine gun, and the ID, monkey_lover.
Regardless of your experience, ability, or personality monkey_lover is already going to be a disappointment and starting from a point of disadvantage when compared to other candidates.
Granted this is an extreme example but what I’m trying to say, it’s all about how you are perceived.
Have a serious think about how other people see you professionally before you give out your ID, or email address – make sure it is appropriate, relevant, and an ID or email that can be easily recognized as yours would be my advice.
On the subject of Email addresses, what may be a giggle to one person may be the reality of a lost opportunity with the employer you always dreamed of – some things just need to be kept private, and some professions that’s the way it is.
Often Emails and Skype accounts have been set up to contact loved ones and friends whilst oversees or at other end of the country. For the sake of the 5 minutes its sets to set up a professional appearing email or account name it really is a no brainer and becomes part of any professional candidates tool kit.
Be sure that you are perceived in the right way, and that then lets you do all the talking.
Using LinkedIn (and its competitors such as Xing etc.) to showcase your professional skill sets is an exhaustive topic in itself and worthy of a separate post however please get in touch for further CV and interview advice and to discuss your next step in your Marine or Shipping Career.