Yes. "Present The Best You." FROM A WOMAN WITH A BLOG ENTRY CALLED "MASHED POTATO BOOBS." I give Monster a whole lot of credit.
But hey: if you want to find me on BeKnown, a new Facebook app that lets you professionally connect with others on FB, just click here! BECAUSE YOU TOTALLY DO.
Now, yes. Mashed potato incidents aside, I AM gainfully employed and have actually held very real, very professional jobs.
And also I did write a post once a job interview I went on, several years ago, where I casually and obviously without forethought mentioned that I had a blog which was kind of a disaster almost.
You can read the whole post here but the point was, well. I was an idiot. I had no business bringing up my personal blog during a professional interview because I did NOT want the interviewer (a VP no less) to read my blog because of all the writing about bruises and dates and plus swear words. And back then, waaaaaaay in the blog dark ages of 2005, I was blogging anonymously, so it's not like Googling my name would have landed the VP on a post where, say, I have brilliantly sketched myself drinking directly from a red wine bottle.
But you know? Times have changed. We're not blogging anonymously and many of us aren't Facebooking or Tweeting or checking-in anonymously, either. Now every job interview begins with a thorough Googling and perusal of your social media life.
And you know that. And maybe (hopefully) if you're in the land of job-seeking, you have thought about your online reputation. You know what happens when you Google yourself, you know what images appear on Flickr, you know you haven't hidden all your FB albums. Which is great. Frankly, I'm not here to tell you otherwise. As someone who shares pretty much everything with the online world, I'm not about to tell you that you need to password-protect your life in order to be hired. But guess what I do have?
Three tips on how to approach interviewing when so much of your life is online and findable (from one social media junkie to another):
1. "Be Prepared" takes on new meaning. Research them, of course. But research you, too.
With so many fun tools at our fingertips, being prepared for your interview doesn't just mean looking at the hiring company's website. It means finding what others are saying about the company. It means looking up who's currently working at the company AND who used to work there. I also always go searching for information about the people who will be meeting with me -- it's not always fair when they have your resume and you don't have theirs, so BeKnown and LinkedIn can really help even the playing field.
Ah, but it's also a smart idea to take a deep breath and Google yourself. Maybe you've done it a million times already, but do it again. What story are you telling? If there's anything you stumble upon that you'd be embarrassed for an employer to see, take it down. If it's in the public domain, it's perfectly acceptable for an interviewer to bring up.
2. Don't Be Yourself. Be Better.
As I well know (OMG HOW WELL I KNOW), we are all flawed. We all spill and trip and bruise and say embarrassing things. We all have unkempt days (WEEKS) and untidy lives, inside and out. Maybe your social media outlets do nothing but illustrate this. Hi.
But your potential employer's primary objective is NOT to know what "the real you at home" is like. Your potential employer needs to know what you at your best is. What is your professional you? What are you capable of doing every day in your best version of you? What will you show clients and coworkers? What are you like when you're "on"?
Your interview is your one opportunity to supplement the online version of yourself with your other dazzling assets. Dress up. Speak well. Shine your shiniest self. And whatever you do, don't let the informality of social media lead you to believe that you are friends with your interviewer; just because she left a comment on your blog post or is now following you on Twitter doesn't mean you're now BFFs.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice.
Um, so, it's established that you're online a lot. Your interviewer knows it, you know it. By virtue of you reading this post, I know it. That means that every conceivable tool for "acing" the interview is at your disposal -- assuming you're a good fit for the job you're seeking. Your interviewer shouldn't be able to ask a single question that catches you off-guard. Nope. Not one. So tell me, do you know where you'll be in five years? Do you know your greatest weaknesses? Do you know how to not only answer questions, but give examples and quantifications with your answers? Do you know why manhole covers are round?
Here's a fantastic list of questions you should arm yourself with answers to before heading into any interview, including (my favorite): Who do you follow on Twitter, and why?
Thank you so much to Monster.com for this opportunity, and specifically to BeKnown, a fantastic new Facebook app that "allows you to set up a professional profile directly on Facebook...separate from your personal Facebook page." Handy, no? I mean, networking right on Facebook makes a lot of sense. Keeping your photo albums separate does, too. :)
Click here to get the Facebook app.
Click here to download the iPhone app.
Oh, hey. Monster.com furnished me with a makeup kit and business card holder for participating in this contest and you can win a kit and holder, too! Please leave a comment (ideally you will also join BeKnown) and you're as good as entered! Contest ends January 9 (EOD) so GET GOING!
Monster.com recently launched BeKnown, a professional networking app for Facebook. BeKnown allows you to set up a professional profile directly on Facebook that is completely separate from your personal Facebook page. One of the apps newest features, College Pages, even provides a way for alumni to network professionally on Facebook and view job postings from their fellow graduates!
With BeKnown College Pages:
- Any jobs posted by alumni on BeKnown are added to the College/University profile page and Alumni with job opportunities can post jobs to students and recent alums for free
- Students can follow their school and build relationships/connections with alumni working at top companies & discover alumni jobs
In addition to College Pages, BeKnown also lets you conduct a job search of Monster's database of jobs without ever leaving BeKnown or Facebook. By tapping into the networks of their Facebook friends, young professionals can easily connect, send messages, and see who among their existing contacts is connected to a company or job opportunity they are interested in.
“As soon-to-be college graduates start to think about their entry into the workforce, their first step should be building out their professional networks using the invaluable connections they have right in front of them,” said Tom Chevalier, Global Product Manager for Monster Worldwide. “Alumni networks are a key source for career opportunities for college graduates, so we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to connect and engage right from BeKnown.”