Build an online brand that gets employers' attention
By high school, most American students are taught the basics of how to craft a resumé and prepare for an interview. Unfortunately, these traditional tools aren't enough anymore for an employer to assess whether you're right for a job.
Because social networks are booming, it's now possible for employers to get to know you well before you ever get the call for an interview. Depending on how comfortable you are with the professionalism of your online profiles, you might think the easy solution is to not use social media at all. But even if you don't participate in these networks, your lack of participation could have an impact on whether you end up with the new gig.
By building a professional online reputation now, even if you're not looking for a new job, you can make sure employers are finding the information you want them to.
Claim your online identities
One of the easiest ways employers can do a little digging on a job candidate is by simply typing the applicants name into Google. Often, this brings up social network profiles and may include tweets, blog posts and comments. One way to make sure the right profiles show up first is to set up your Google Profile™ to be searchable.
According to an article by social media news site Mashable, "The more information you fill out [on Google profiles], the higher up your rank will be, so include links to your blog, and other social networks, and fill out your profile information (Schawbel, 2011)."
Become the expert
Now that you have a profile that will show up in Google search results, it's a good idea to make sure you're blogging and creating posts that are relevant to your industry. When promoting your expertise, there are few things you can do that are more search-engine friendly and reputation boosting than blogging. Fresh and quality content often rates high on search engines, giving any potential employers who search your name insight into your knowledge and expertise that wouldn't otherwise be found on an application.
Utilize your network
Even armed with a Google Profile linking to your blog that's pumping out industry-relevant content isn't enough. In the digital age, it's still all about networking. Along with all your current contacts that you connect with on LinkedIn®, Facebook® and Twitter®, you still get recommendations for people to follow based on your current interests and social circle — all included within each service. But, once you do have your network built up, how can you utilize it to get a job?
A lot of times people will post about job openings and project needs. For a more immediate way to see how your network could be useful in your job hunt, you could use a service like InTheDoor.com. This tool searches your Facebook contacts to show where they work and what jobs are available at their company — providing you with the connection that could help you land your next gig.
Be ready and mobile
Even with these online tools, jobs are still to be had by meeting with people in real life. And even if you're caught without a hard copy of your resumé, at any moment, you should be able to provide a way for a potential employer to pull up your information. Some of the most creative and effective ways others have handled this include:
- Business-card sized resumés that include a link or QR code to your website
- Desktop and mobile-friendly websites that provide employers your resumé, the work you've done and an idea of who you are
- Twitter-friendly, 140-character resumés that can be easily sent out to Twitter job posters
Even though you now have a great start to building your online brand, you'll want make a habit of these reputation-building tips. Adapting to new technologies, sharing your expertise, nurturing your network and being mobile are all practices that can help make you attractive to employers now and lead to more opportunities in the future.
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