No online presence, no job interview? How much does it nowadays really matter – for career purposes – to have an online presence? Being invisible online, does it mean that your chances of getting interviews and promotions are drastically reduced? I conducted a survey among 11 Insiders (via personal network and Quora) and asked them all the same question “Would you invite a candidate with no online presence to an interview?” Their highly interesting opinions vary. Find out what they had to say.
No online presence, no job interview?
Jack Parsons, CEO of www.getyourfeed.com
This is a very interesting topic. Being very candid here, I wouldn’t! The world of work is changing very quickly and we need to embrace how it’s changing. I believe that by 2025, you are not going
to be working full time for one brand and you will be working more flexibly for several brands. If you have spent time
in developing your personal brand & online presence, then I am up for meeting you for a chat. In short, if you have time to look after your personal brand, then you are more likely to look after my company’s brand and that’s 50% of the trouble, hiring people who care and most importantly “get it”.
Nina Pavlichko, Human Resources Professional turned Career Counsellor, http://www.NinaPavlichko.com
If I had a good solid resume in front of me or that person was a referral, yes I would invite that person to an interview. There are many reasons people are not online.
- Older worker
- The candidate is in stealth job search mode. I was found out by my boss when I was looking and was put in a bad situation when she confronted me. I learned a really great lesson on that one!
- The person is very private. I have friends who are great workers but fall into this category.
- The candidate does not believe in social media. Some people don’t like social media.
There is a special case here though, if a person is in sales and has very limited contacts on LinkedIn I would wonder about it. Although, some people do much of their business face to face, especially if they have been in their industry a long time. The best thing to do in that situation is meet that candidate face to face.
All in all, there are many reasons that some people don’t have a social online presence and I think if a candidate is strong, it is worth a conversation.
Yuri Kruman, Master Career Strategist, Startup Executive, http://www.Blueprinttothrive.com
If I’m interviewing for any conventional role at a startup or corporation, I will be suspicious of anyone not on LinkedIn, at the very least. For a tech job, nothing on GitHub for a developer candidate is a red flag. Nothing on Angel List a cause for concern for any non-tech position. Absence from social media is a sign that the person doesn’t care enough to at least show a face to the world. These days, that’s a serious concern, whether justified or not. As a Hiring Manager or HR guy, it’s all I have to go by outside of a piece of paper. That’s too easily fudged. No thanks.
Joel L. Villar, http://www.iwillteachyouexcel.com
From my experience, usually when a person has no online presence it means they are a bit older than the “average” worker (not always the case). It really isn’t a big deal and I invite them to the interview anyway if I feel their resume is strong enough. Just because a person has no online presence doesn’t mean they have something to hide. I had no online presence for years simply because I had no time; I was working hard and studying for the CPA exam. Interviews are for getting to know candidates better and, online presence or no online presence, you can’t know someone just from a few pictures or twitter updates online.
Monica Chetal, http://www.Redesignhr.com
Yes, I will invite the person for an interview even if s/he has no online presence. If s/he has a good CV, strong credentials, maybe even some strong referral, I will go ahead with interviewing the candidate. I have come across many good potential candidates who have no online presence because of one of the following reasons:
- The country of residence of the candidate – there are many countries where having an online presence is not considered to be very important.
- The age bracket of the candidate. Many senior people have never created a LinkedIn profile ever, however, they are good in their jobs.
- The candidate prefers remaining ‘private’, it is a personal choice.
- The candidate thinks there is no need to have an online presence. I have selected candidates having no online presence, and their CVs were sent to me by people as ‘strong referrals’
Personally, I have had no online presence until a few years back, as I didn’t feel there was a need to do that. And I have worked with great multinationals, doing well paid jobs!
Warren Olson, Author of “Diversity challenged Interviewing”, Lecturer on Investigative Interviewing and former Private Detective,
These days, especially for a more senior position most potential employers (or their recruitment people) will check through social media/Linkedin etc. to get some background information. If you have no online presence that may perk their interest and as long as you had the right credentials (academic or experience) it would certainly not count against you, unless of course the position called for online/media understanding. In some ways, I think it could be beneficial, as the interviewers won’t have some preconceived ideas about you. Downside, someone with a strong online presence that shows a wide range of contacts/recommendations etc. may well get favoured ahead of you.
Abigail Brown, Director at Openingz, http://www.openingz.com
Dannielle Blumenthal, www.dannielleblumenthal.com
Yes, I would. An online presence is not necessarily an indicator of having good qualifications for a job. In fact, sometimes a person’s online presence can be a negative for the organisation’s brand. For example, you would think twice about a prospective CEO whose Facebook profile is set to public, and it’s full of pictures of her partying.
Angella Russell, http://www.theresumeexecutive.com/mysite
Yes. There could be many reasons to not be online. I wasn’t at all until fairly recently. People could be on Facebook but having set their profile to “not searchable”. They could just not care about being online. If I like the resume, I’m going to call them and meet with them. As a bonus – Facebook is THE number one on the job time thief. If they aren’t on Facebook, then they’re not on it at work either.
Xena Lee, an experienced interviewer
It would not affect my decision to interview lots of people, they shouldn’t share theirs lives online but still do it. Many others use a pseudonym to keep private. You can ask them in the interview why they have no online footprint.
Karin Schroeck-Singh, Founder and Content Manager at www.CareerHeads.com
Millions of people have nowadays some kind of online presence, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope etc. However, there are still people who don’t want to disclose their real identity and don’t want to leave any digital footprint (for whatever reason!). Would I invite a candidate with no online presence to a job interview? To be honest, I would always give those candidates the preference who have some kind of online presence, needless to say, a “positive” one! If let’s say, for one position there are 10 candidates, out of which 7 have a (positive) online presence, I would focus on those 7 candidates first. Their online presence would already allow me to get an idea about their personality, competence, knowledge, interests, networks, preferences, etc. If I like what I see, why would and should I waste my time calling up or meeting the other 3 candidates in person? I would have to invest some additional time in digging for information, that the other 7 candidates would have already presented me upfront online (to some extent at least). A candidate nowadays – no matter in what industry – must be able to brand themselves in a highly competitive world. Time has changed. People will google you, so why not showing them that you are social media savvy and also know how to present yourself in a positive way?
Let’s say I would have to hire a Chef for a 5 Star Hotel. I have 2 candidates: Monica and Mark. Monica (candidate 1) has a great CV and no online presence. Mark (candidate 2) has a good CV and an impressive online presence. He has his own blog in which he publishes creative recipes on a regular basis, a YouTube channel in which he shares how to cook international dishes, on Quora he answers peoples’ cooking dilemmas, and on Twitter he engages in cuisine-related discussions with other chefs. Last but not least, on LinkedIn previous employers left lots of stellar recommendations and endorsements on his profile. Seriously, do you still have any doubts that I would be interested in meeting Monica (candidate 1) with her great CV? I’m sure there are recruiters who would give Monica still a chance for the interview, but what is the lesson to be learnt from this? First of all, not every recruiter is the same. Secondly, you can gain the edge straight away and stand out from the crowd, if you know how to promote yourself online in an effective and creative way. So why not making full use of this great opportunity?
What brilliant insights from these insiders. I’m sure that you were able to take away many points from these opinions. Whether you are an HR or Non-HR professional, I would be very interested in knowing what your point of view is on this topic. I would highly appreciate it, if you could leave a comment and vote for the usefulness of this article. It just takes a few clicks and would mean a lot to me. Thanks!
Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.