In today’s world, the effectiveness of a candidate’s CV and how they perform in job interviews remain vital elements of the recruitment process.

However, it’s now only part of the story. Thanks to the internet and social media, there’s a whole new avenue of personal information for recruiters to explore when selecting their ideal candidate – and it’s vital for candidates to take this into account.

When job hunting, those who neglect to make the most of this modern shop window may be missing a crucial trick. Likewise, it could even be a big fail before they’ve begun their employment search.

After all, there may be pictures and posts that should have been removed a long time ago.

It’s important therefore for candidates to vet their social channels for anything that could be counted against them. Taken further, they might be advised to ensure that their profile is only accessible to those within their social circle.

Why is personal branding important

So why is personal branding important in today's economy? Why is it so important to check how you’re portraying yourself on the web?

Actually, more than 60 per cent of employers say they have rejected a candidate because of their online posts. Yet, only about 30 per cent of young people worry about their old posts coming back to haunt them.

Clearly there is a significant disparity there that candidates must urgently address if they haven’t already done so.

Looked at in a different light, the web represents a huge opportunity to progress your career.

Maximising the employment opportunity that social media offers is often referred to as the art of online personal branding. It’s a mind-set where you effectively go about building your own brand – where LinkedIn acts as your online CV and posts on other social channels can portray you in a favourable light to prospective employers.

The perfect candidate

Taken together, all of these elements might just add up to the perfect candidate for your employer of choice.

How do you go about building an online personal brand? First of all, consider how others might view your posts. Try to look at them from a neutral point of view.

Consistency is key – make sure all your social channels are telling the same story and are aligned with your CV. Any discrepancies could be seized on.

Image is also an important facet. Prospective employers will make snap decisions based on what they immediately see on your social media feeds, so don’t give them a chance to be put off.

With that in mind, use properly sized and cropped profile pictures, ideally of a high resolution. If you can get a professional shot taken for LinkedIn, then all the better.

It’s also worth paying close attention to what you’re liking and sharing, particularly posts that others might consider inappropriate – if privacy settings aren’t in place, then prospective employers could pick up on it and may consider it part of an unwelcome personality trait for their organisation.

How you communicate

Be aware that employers will be considering not just what you look like and what activities you take part in, but also how you communicate. Poor grammar, offensive language, or evidence of a negative outlook may be a turn-off for employers.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to showcase your interests and ideas if you think they could be in tune with employers.

Our advice when building an online personal brand? Make sure that your social media channels get a big thumbs up, and aren’t a big employment fail.