If you Googled yourself, what would you want to show up?
Browsing through the first few pages, you might be surprised. With social media and the digital age, you’ll find that you have way less privacy than you thought you did. Now, more than ever, it’s important to control what personal information is floating around in cyberspace.
This is especially true during the job search. About 80 percent of employers will use Google, social media and professional networking sites like Handshake and LinkedIn to vet job applicants. Some are even searching for candidates online without even posting a job or internship first.
If a recruiter wants to find a CU Boulder student, the first place they will look is Handshake. So, here’s how to brand yourself and control what information employers find on this job search platform.
Step 1: Create an account
The Handshake account that you create is a great way to enhance your personal brand. It tells the story of your academic journey and the type of professional you want to become. By having an active and public account on Handshake, you can be viewed by more than 14,000 employers around the world who are looking for CU Boulder talent.
Use your long email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up your account.
Step 2: Fill out your profile
If you have a résumé, the first step is to upload your document. Handshake will automatically fill in your profile with details from your résumé. You might want to clean it up and make sure your major, expected graduation date and GPA were added correctly. If you don’t have a résumé, you’ll need to fill these details in manually.
Add a professional photo or headshot so an employer can put a face to the name. Your photo helps to personalize and humanize the brand you’ve created for yourself. It’s easy for them to make a connection with your profile when they can “see” who’s behind it.
Step 3: Add work experience, university clubs and course work
Employers often find students by searching for specific companies they’ve worked for. List out your work experience in reverse chronological order, showing your most recent work experience first. You’ll want to list on-campus jobs and volunteer experiences here as well.
Be sure to list any student clubs or organizations you are involved with. This not only shows involvement on campus and leadership skills but can also give employers a look into your unique interests outside of the classroom.
Step 4: List your skills
This might be the most important step. Skills are the primary field that employers use to search for job or internship candidates. By listing your skills, you are showcasing character traits and unique abilities that make you employable. You can list soft skills such as communication and teamwork or technical skills such as data analytics or project management.
The top searched terms in Handshake for 2018 were marketing, engineering, human resources, psychology, tax, communication, advertising, economics, banking, security and accounting.
Step 5: Make your profile public
It might go without saying, but if you want employers to find you, you need to be findable. This means you need to make your profile public. You are five times more likely to be found and messaged by employers if you do this step.
Building your personal brand and controlling your online presence may seem like a tall task, but starting small with profiles like Handshake can help guide you in the right direction. If you have question about your Handshake account, stop by Career Services during drop-in hours or chat with a career development advisor online.