Why Getting 'Dressed For The Internet' Could Be Just As Important As Getting Dressed For A Job Interview

Man in a suitMark Thompson/Getty ImagesGetting dressed up for an in-the-flesh meeting isn’t enough for modern job seekers.

As any professional knows, in-person job interviews require plenty of preparation.

Even the most experienced candidates fret about what they should wear, when they should arrive, and what they should say while they’re in the hot seat.

But increasingly, many people aren’t even getting to the interview unless they have put time and effort into maintaining a neat, accessible online profile.

In an interview with The New York Times, Reputation.com founder and CEO Michael Fertik explains that his new book, “The Reputation Economy,” details how many companies and recruiters are now using algorithms to crunch the contents of people’s résumés and LinkedIn profiles so that they can whittle down the applicant pool to a small number of people who should be invited for an interview.

Just as people take time to pick out the right tie for an interview, Fertik tells The Times “it’s important for them to figure out if they’re dressed for the Internet.”

As a result, Fertik recommends that job seekers should do two things to make themselves more attractive to the algorithms:

1. Make your résumé and LinkedIn profile machine-readable. This means using clear, specific language to list your skills and areas of expertise. This way a software program scanning profiles for someone with Excel knowledge will be able to find you.

2. Clearly show your career trajectory. Fertik says you should use more common job descriptions and lay out your positions one by one on your résumé so that a computer program can figure out how long it took you to move up the ranks. “A machine can figure out from your résumé how quickly you progressed from manager to senior manager to director — and whether your pace outstripped or lagged the typical pace,” Fertik tells The Times.

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