When preparing for your job hunt, you’ll actively be thinking about things like your resume, work experience and interview outfit. But, with companies across the country depending on virtual interviews and screenings to find new hires, you have new things to keep in mind. A virtual job hunt adds a few more elements to your search and many job seekers forget to review them before it’s too late.
Here are 5 things you should review before you dive into your next virtual job hunt. By being proactive, you’ll put yourself in the best position you can be in when you submit your next application or resume to a potential employer.
Check your email address
A job seeker may think that their cover letter or resume is what an employer bases their first impression on. But, in a virtual job hunt, your email address is as important as your name in leaving a lasting impression.
Consider having a separate professional email address you can use when job searching so you can avoid using a personal email or, worse, your current work email address. A personal email address might have a nickname or reference a show or movie you like, but that can detract from the professional image you want employers to see. Similarly, sending a job-related email from an employer-provided email can seem disrespectful to your current boss.
Your email address should be easy to understand and search. If a recruiter or employer has an inbox full of applications, they should easily be able to find yours. Including your name is recommended, but you should avoid including numbers that may indicate your age. There are other times you can let your personality shine but, when it comes to submitting resumes or applications, simple and straightforward is best.
Follow email etiquette
In addition to having a professional email address, there are other little elements of email etiquette that can easily go forgotten. When you’re in a virtual job hunt, any of these details can be noticed by a recruiter, so be mindful when you’re searching.
Your Email Signature
Be mindful of where you send emails from and what email signatures may be attached when you’re writing. Having “Sent from my iPhone” at the end of a message can make it seem more candid and casual.
A strong email signature for your virtual job search should contain: Your full name and your contact information (like email and phone number). You can optionally add information like your most recent job title, the industry you specialize in, your academic degree or any industry-related titles or awards.
How Your Email Looks
While you get to decide how formal or casual you want to be in your email communications, we recommend making sure your email looks approachable and easy to read. Here are a few simple tips to follow:
– Avoid using a font size that is too large or too small.
– Use darker colors that are easier to read; bright colors or highlights can be visually distracting.
– Break up long sentences into shorter ones. Use paragraphs and spaces if communicating a lot of information.
While it can be tempting to include a lot in your email, make sure you prioritize what you include and let the employer know how they can contact you if they have questions.
Introduce Yourself in an Elevator Pitch
Some job seekers flourish in person. Their personality and charm can attract attention when they enter a room. If you don’t have the chance to interview or interact physically, there are still ways you can communicate your personality during your virtual job hunt.
Whether you’re sending a resume in an email or filling out an online job application, you will most likely have an opportunity to include a quick elevator pitch, or summary of what you’re bringing to the table. This is different than answering interview questions–this should be a succinct but accurate overview of yourself. If a hiring manager only has time to read your quick introduction, it should entice them to want to learn more.
Craft Your Own Elevator Pitch:
1. Introduce yourself
2. Explain what you do
3. Define what you want
4. Suggest an actionable next step
Here’s an example:
“Hi, my name is Taylor. I’m a gig worker with a lot of experience as a brand ambassador and in customer service. I’d like to work the seasonal delivery job your company is hiring for. I would love to contribute my hard work and people skills to your team. I’ve attached my resume – could we set up an interview at your convenience if I am a good fit?”
If you can create an elevator pitch that represents your experience and intentions, it can give hiring managers an easy way to remember you when they sort through applicants.
Review your online reputation & photos
Virtual job hunts make your online reputation even more impactful. A hiring manager will easily be able to Google your name or email address. Before you start applying, you should Google search yourself and review what comes up.
There are pros and cons to having public or private social media accounts. What you should do is look at what you post and decide if you are comfortable with a potential employer seeing it. Social media or marketing job seekers would benefit from having professional, public facing profiles. But, if you’re posting inappropriate or controversial opinions, you might not want that to impact your chances of being hired. Things like public posts criticizing current or past employers can be a red flag to new employers.
In addition to the accounts associated with your name, you should review your account profile photos. The Dolly Parton Challenge that went viral in January 2020 emphasized that everyone has a different personality on their social media platforms. But, when job seeking, it is good practice to make sure that your associated LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profile photos are ones you’d want seen. A great LinkedIn headshot can be forgotten if there’s an inappropriate Twitter photo displayed right after.
You don’t have to change everything you have online every time you do a virtual job hunt. But you should make sure you know what comes up if an employer looks you up, and be able to answer any questions they may have about your online reputation.
Prepare for your video interview
If your application or resume is selected, you may be asked to take part in a virtual video interview. You should still prepare yourself for standard interview questions. You should also consider these factors before you sit down for your video interview.
Where you’re doing your interview
Before your interview, make sure you find a well-lit and quiet place to take your video call. Ideally, you should have a desk or table to safely place your laptop or computer. It should be in a room or area that gets natural light (near a window) or is near a lamp so you’re properly lit for the video.
If you’re job hunting from home, we advise telling your family or roommates that you have an important video call. Minimizing interruptions and background noise helps ensure that you won’t be distracted during the interview. Ensure your background is clear or presentable – a plain wall is better than a busy or messy room.
What you’re wearing during your interview
Treat a virtual interview like a real one. Industry experts advise that you dress the way you would for a physical interview (including shoes!) so you feel and radiate confidence.
How you’re doing the interview
Before the call, make sure you ask your interviewer if it will be on Zoom, Google Duo, Skype or another video conferencing platform. Make sure you have the browser open or the application downloaded ahead of time. You will also need to make sure your microphone and speakers work properly. Lastly, you should try to do a test call to ensure that your wifi doesn’t drop or lag.
Test your tech ahead of time so you can change location or equipment before the interview.
These are 5 things that job seekers often forget to review before their virtual job hunt. If you’re looking for more job searching tips, make sure you’re signed up for Jobble’s Everyday Hustle newsletter. We’ll deliver the hottest job search and interviewing tips, right to your mailbox.