We all have an old but favorite pair of sweat pants and a not-for-public tattered shirt we lounge around the house in, right? Particularly when we know that no one is around and the likelihood of being face-to-face with anyone other than an immediate family member is a minimal risk. You have that look don’t you? No shower, maybe a little pillow-hair and looking pretty scary versus your normal “together” self. You’d never leave the house in that condition, would you?
In terms of image, there’s one thing we all have in common: When we have an important social event, a business meeting or client interaction we put our best foot forward in terms of appearance. And on those really special occasions we might even get a fresh haircut and purchase something new to wear, all in an effort to make a quality impression. We hedge our chances of success by carefully controlling the image that we portray to others. While we might all have different looks for different occasions, one thing’s for certain, if we know someone important is looking at or evaluating us we go out of our way to be on our best behavior and make certain we look our best. We naturally want to impress as it seems to be both common sense as well as an intelligent act of self-promotion.
So, what about your online persona––your so-called digital footprint? The ubiquitious presence you now have with all of your online profiles, activities and interactions? And those profiles are visible 24/7 to anyone in the
world galaxy that decides to look. And yet many choose to have a crappy photo or no photograph at all, complete with sketchy background information including grammar that could use some serious wordsmithing. You’re on display to the world around-the-clock and you’re presenting yourself in the equivalent of that old pair of sweats and tattered shirt. Really? We can probably all agree that an incomplete and poorly worded profile won’t provoke much confidence with an opportunity giver looking at your profile. People with these types of profiles should rein in their expectations as there’s very little chance of an offer––of any kind.
Search engine functionality has improved to the point that anything and everyone can be found. If your profile is constructed properly, positioned strategically and coordinated with the proper keywords and phrases, you will be found so, you might want to be looking the digital equivalent of professionally-polished. Passive recruiting has always been popular among search firms but the transparency caused by today’s search functionality has given worldwide access to anyone interested in performing a search. That includes the larger search firms all the way down to the one person HR department. It could even be a start-up looking for advisors or a board looking for expertise. Someone, somewhere is attempting to match people with opportunities. Are you discoverable? Moreover, are you presentable? Meaningful people with meaningful opportunities are looking for people just like you. That means you might want to be the most presentable virtual version of yourself when they do look your way…
Take a digital shower, comb your online hair and put on your best virtual outfit.
Make yourself presentable!