Leveraging Your Brand Online
Congrats, you just graduated your first Bootcamp, finished your first computer science degree, or completed your first internship. Now your ready to start sending out that resume. But wait, this is the 21st century, the century of the internet. Traditional paper resumes are becoming a thing of the past in tech. You sent your resume out, and now your waiting for the next step. But did you ever think of what the first step of the hiring manager looking at your traditional resume?
What happens on the other end?
One of the first task of a hiring manager after receiving your resume via LinkedIn or Indeed, is to research you on the internet. While traditional resumes are still in use, there’s a new kind of resume. The internet. This is where, friends, family, strangers, and employers go to find out who you are and what you are about. If your profile is public, every post, every tweet can make or break the decision for an employer to move forward with you as a candidate. Keep any information or accounts in connection to you free of controversial subjects, profanity, and risky photos. Do not disqualify yourself from a job, not reaching the phone interview round. Being a black woman in tech we walk in with many odds against us.
We may not be able to control our race or the color of our skin, but we can control how we act, present ourselves, and what others will see of us on the internet.
Furthermore, as a Black woman, it’s important to stand out, show your knowledge, your experience, all the ?work you have done, and to shine! In tech, it’s important that in a quick google search an employer can find 1-3 professional photos of you, your personal website, and engagement on platforms such as GitHub, StackOverflow, and Twitter. Activity on forums in line with the type of work you do is a plus. If your job is helpdesk, a photo of you with a break and fix says a lot. If you work in crypto and you tweet about the latest currency news, it says a lot. Give employers a reason to find out more about who you are. Be aware your web presence can help or hurt you.
Here are two example scenarios
Scenario 1: How the internet can help your career
Sierra, the Senior DevOps Engineer at CloudSync inc is looking for a Junior DevOps Engineer. She came across the resume of Anelle Jenkins on the Frauvis job board. The resume is great but doesn’t quite fit the exact skills required. However, Sierra see’s Anelle has an extensive background as a front-end engineer but looking to change fields. Sierra checks online for Anelle’s twitter, Reddit, Instagram, and GitHub. It’s posted on twitter that Anelle volunteers as community support for ThyLinux community forum. Consistently posting videos of her creating her own sandbox to practice DevOps skills and volunteering for office hours of other learners. A few rounds on interviews take place. In the end, Sierra believes Anelle will grow in her skills and offers her the Junior DevOps Engineer position, with the opportunity for promotion to Lead DevOps Engineer in 6 months to 1 year.
Scenario 2: How the internet can hurt your career
Joselle Fink, the CTO of GunSafe is looking to hire a Director of Engineering. Taylor’s resume is clean cut, precise, and to the point of her accomplishments over the past 20 years. Taylor was recommended by a member of the CTO club. Taylor has been recognized with building great engineering teams within various startups in the Houston area. It seemed as if she was the perfect candidate. Conducting research as normal, she found Taylor’s presence in the tech scene was very consistent with good results. Yet searching through a few tweets, it becomes apparent Taylor is anti-gun safety. This stands against the company mission and values. As Taylor was simply a recommendation and never actually applied, it was ok that Joselle chose to pass on Taylor and never bothered to reach out.
Don’t let your web presence bring you down
Certainly, you want to be scenario 1. Don’t disqualify yourself before you even get the chance to pitch yourself. Rather, let the internet make you shine and create a world of opportunities. Make your web presence work for you. It’s ideal to get to the point where employers will find you on Github, Linkedin, Stackoverflow, Angelist, or through word of mouth and reach out to you. Go get started on that resume right now!