When in transition or looking for a job, building a powerful online personal brand is absolutely vital. Over 90% of recruiters search for candidates online, so putting your best foot forward online is vital to success in job search.
Just like wearing a suit to a job interview, a well-dressed online profile can make the difference.
Yet many job seekers don’t invest adequate time or attention on building their brand online. This is a HUGE mistake.
How A Powerful Online Profile can Get You Jobs
Your online brand doesn’t just matter for jobs you have applied for – it can also get you jobs that are never advertised online. Face it, only a small percentage of jobs are ever posted publicly and when they are, hiring managers receive tens of thousands of applications.
Many recruiters now actively search for qualified candidates versus hoping that the best candidates find them. This means that they are proactively searching online for people with certain skills and backgrounds. At least once a week I get a message from a recruiter or hiring manager asking me to talk to them about an opportunity.
If you have a great online presence, people with jobs will actually find you and connect you with opportunities.
Creating a Powerful Online Profile
LinkedIn – OK, perhaps LinkedIn is obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many job seekers haven’t completely updated their profiles. LinkedIn allows you to share your accomplishments across a variety of newer profile settings including courses, publications and projects. There is no excuse to not having a LinkedIn profile that really sets you apart.Creating assets on a variety of social networks is important to creating a solid profile when potential employers are searching for you. Here are a few sites to consider:
- Website or Blog – This is your home base. Don’t miss the opportunity to clearly brand yourself as the expert and share your knowledge through a blog or website. This is your opportunity to completely customize the experience that someone has with your brand.
- Facebook – Sure, you may have your Facebook set to “friends only” but log out and see what the public can see. They can see your profile and background photos as well as your likes. These should build upon your branding. Also, consider how “Friends of Friends” can view your profile – chances are that you have some connections in common with a potential future employer, so make sure that Facebook isn’t holding you back.
- Slideshare – Thought leaders are constantly giving and sharing presentations. Upload a presentation (even if you haven’t presented it anywhere) as a starting point. You can show your slideshare presentations on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networks.
- Re.Vu – This is a really cool visual resume site that will pull your LinkedIn info and turn it into an infographic. Don’t miss the opportunity to stand out visually with this site.
How to Be the Expert
What does an expert look like online? An expert is always on top of news and trends. An expert also has interesting ideas and opinions about these trends. An expert engages in conversations and shares experiences.
These are all things that you can do to build your brand online. It isn’t just about creating a LinkedIn profile (although that is a good start). It is about being respected for your thought leadership.
Find and create opportunities to share your thought leadership.
Be the expert that people want to hire.