Between understanding what you can honestly do and offer to an employer and the employer offering you a job is the resume, interview and the employer's research of you and your qualifications. Potential employers, if aren't calling and talking to those references, then shame on you. If employers are smart, they also will be Googling you to learn more about you, including looking up your social media outlets. In this article we'll talk about that digital test to see if you pass as a potential employee, or as an employer.
It isn’t hard, and if you don’t pass, you can fix any problems so you can pass the test. And passing this test will help you better present yourself in the digital world and be a better candidate for a job. While this isn’t something you’ll find taught at most universities (although I have spoken about it when I have guest-lectured), it’s important. These are small things that can make a difference in looking for (and landing!) a job, getting your message out, being seen as professional and getting that job. (Employers, you should take this test yourself as well as explore these points for any potential new employee.)
- Clean it up! Potential employers look at your social media. Don’t kid yourselves into thinking otherwise. So take down all those beer pong party shots, the ones of you at the beach during spring break (unless you are rescuing birds from an oil spill), and the snide or downright ungracious comments you made about your former girlfriend, current employer or coworkers. Think you have your Facebook locked down so they can’t get in? Think again. Don’t leave or put up anything you don’t want your mama, preacher or potential employer to see.
- Still have “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” as your email address. Change it!
- Pump it up! Once your social media is cleaned up, follow/like/connect with key figures and companies in your industry (including the one you are interviewing with!). Get on LinkedIn (a business social media network). Have professional profiles. Have professional images. Have professional videos. Focus on the business side of your life.
Equine Businesses/Service Providers
- Do you have a website?
- Does your website have a short, easily remembered and typed URL?
- Is that URL your business name?
- Is it a .com?
- Is your contact information easily found on every page?
- Do you have social media icons and links on every page?
- Do you have the basics of who you are and what you do?
- Can someone tell the geographic region where you provide services?
- Do you have current and previous clients/success stories listed?
- Can you provide testimonials?
- Do you have regularly updated information on your website?
- Is that information good enough that others might want to share it? Do you make that easy?
- Do you collect contact information for future correspondence?
- Is your email associated with your business? (i.e., Info@bighorsetrailers.com or Mary@WestTackShop.com)?
- Is it easy to remember and type?
- Do you have or need more than one email?
- Are all your emails checked regularly and responses sent promptly?
- Do you have any automated responses via email? If so, have you read them lately?
- As a business person, the items listed above for job seekers should be a given, but review them just in case.
- Do you have a business plan for your social media?
- Is someone in a position of authority responsible for posting and monitoring your social media channels?
- Are you posting relevant information on a regular basis?
- Are you having conversations with people on social media?
Use social media and digital outlets for increasing your business, letting people know what you do, promoting your successes, seeking employees, etc.
So, how did you do on the digital basics test? There are books and white papers written on most of these topics, and many articles on StableManagement.com about social media topics.
Know your digital basics to improve your business or your chances of getting that dream job!
Check out this related article: Self Assessment and Skills that can Land You a Job.