Professional Presence: The Job Is Yours!

Guest Blogger Steff Milovic ’19

When you arrive for an interview, you are expected to be dressed in professional attire, and you are expected to maintain good composure, good attitude, and good posture. You are expected to arrive with two copies of your resume on hand, and you are expected to have a business card or two in your pocket. You are expected to handle any question posed to you, and you are expected to have a few inquiries ready in return.

These are the guidelines that you are implicitly expected to follow. If you do follow these rules, you may believe that it is safe to assume that the job is yours. However, the job is not just yours quite yet: there is one last thing that the employer will check. While you may have prepared for your interview with professional resumes and dress and a smile, did you ever prepare your online presence for screening? If not, you may want to do so before your next interview…

Step One:  Google yourself.
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.06.18 PMThis is the first step that I was told to execute during my CUPID class when first learning about my current online presence. As it turns out, many employers are “Googling candidates to learn more about them,” as Miriam Salpeter (a job search coach) points out. It is a very simple search to conduct that could come up with vast amounts of information – both good and bad – that together help to represent you.  This is your online presence.

Step Two:  Delete anything that you would not like employers to see.
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.06.25 PMThis is an important aspect to consider, following the Google search of your name. While you may enjoy particular content on your social media or personal website pages, one must recognize that an “…employer’s perception of your online activity is very subjective based on their own biases and preconceptions” ( The material that composes your online presence will be judged unfairly by an individual – an employer – who does not know your story…or the story behind that particular inappropriate picture on your Facebook account with your tongue hanging out. To avoid these subjective judgments, anything questionable (or that may require a backstory) should best be removed from your online presence.

Step Three:  Re-create your online presence professionally.
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.06.32 PMNow that your previous online material has been identified and personally censored, it comes down to you to decide what content is posted online to represent you. It is extremely important to “…be careful of what you add,” as this material will also be judged subjectively by potential employers. When working to improve your online presence, the most common additions to boost yourself professionally include a blog, online portfolio, and website. These three creations (when done professionally) work best to demonstrate your strengths, your latest projects, and your writing.  So long as they are conducted professionally, they will serve as strong representatives of your online presence…and ultimately, how you are represented to your employers.

Just as you have worked hard on your professional dress and attitude when attending an interview, it is nearly as important to maintain a professional online presence. By portraying yourself in such a way both online and in person, it is nearly safe to say that the job is yours.

Check out this and this for more detail.

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