A successful job search involves networking both offline and online. While offline networking often feels more important because it involves attending events and meeting new people, your online presence is just as important. It needs to be a strong representation of your skills and background as it is something that speaks for you when you aren’t there yourself. Just as you might visit a company’s website to get more information, potential employers will look online to learn more about you.
Consider this: when an employer decides to Google your name, what will they find?
Here are some tips to help you build a strong online reputation.
Get Linked In (Literally)
LinkedIn is an increasingly popular social network where professionals can connect with each other. It is a vital tool for the job search process. Post your resume then add a headline that accurately represents you and include a brief (and accurate) summary of your recent experiences as well as your main skills. This will give employers (and network connections) an idea of who you are without having to scroll through your entire profile. Enhance your credibility by asking peers and supervisors to recommend your work on a specific project or role. Proving your industry connections will also increase your relevance in your field.
Organizations want to know that you are ready to be a part of their team. “Like” the organization on Facebook and interact with them on Twitter to show your interest in becoming a part of their world. If you’re interested in working at a specific company, follow the company profile on LinkedIn to receive company updates and job postings directly on your LinkedIn homepage.
Use your Network @ ACCES
Follow ACCES on Twitter for regular updates on industry news and events and to connect with past and present ACCES clients. ACCES is also on LinkedIn; you can follow the organization and take connections made in person to the online realm. Join the ACCES LinkedIn group, Alumni Network, to connect with your peers. The ACCES online network is a great extension to programs and services provided on site. You can ask questions, get advice and post articles for discussion. Groups are also a great way to get your name out there.
Integrate the Online in Real Life (and Vice Versa)
Incorporate your online brand into your everyday offline meetings. Add your network handles to your resume header and business cards and continue in-person relationships online by connecting with your networking contacts. A job may not be available immediately, but you may be remembered for future opportunities because you have maintained those connections online.
Start a Blog
To help employers understand who you are, start a blog to post your insights and ideas. A blog is a great way to prove your writing skills and to demonstrate what you are all about. Your blog may be industry-focused or a place for you to share general ideas. Keep things professional – don’t share things that are too personal or inappropriate and keep in mind that future employers may be reading it.
Building your online reputation can enhance your job search by providing additional information to potential employers. Your online presence has the potential to influence your future employer’s perception of your skills, professionalism and experience.