Feel like you’re getting nowhere in your job search? Making a name for yourself online could help you make real progress.
Looking to get hired can be a painstaking experience, one full of rejection. But rather than seeing this rejection as another blow to your self-confidence, approach it as an opportunity to market yourself better.
That includes treating your online activity much more seriously. Your reputation on social media now plays an important role in determining whether employers should ask you to join their team. So promote yourself effectively by publishing high-quality and thoughtful posts on your online profiles. This will help you you strengthen your presence on the Web, increasing your chances of getting a job.
Here are three ways to leverage your skills online:
1. Use your real name
It’s understandable that you prefer to hide behind an obscure username and keep your true identity a secret. But consider the advantages of using your real name for your email and social profiles. You’ll add positive branding to your name, which can greatly affect search results when someone searches for you.
Start by customizing your URL on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Using a “vanity” URL helps you remain consistent with your brand name and breed familiarity across all your social media profiles. Always keep this in mind when creating new profiles on different sites.
2. Create an online portfolio and begin blogging
Regardless of your job or industry, developing an online portfolio provides employers and headhunters with quick access to your resume and sample work. Include links to works you have published online for easy reference.
Owning a blog allows you to talk about your expertise and share valuable information with readers interested in your field or industry. Through consistent blogging, you help yourself become an authority in your field of interest, which can greatly affect your chances of getting employed.
The online world is not just a place to update your status messages, play the latest Zynga game and stick to your comfort zone. Stop beating around the bush and do something productive online to benefit your professional life.
Here are a few ideas:
- Browse Q&A sites like Quora or Yahoo! Answers and search for questions related to your expertise. Aside from providing invaluable insight, also ask questions to elicit conversation.
- Search for blogs and comment on posts related to your industry. This will help you build relationships with bloggers you can talk to about job-related topics. Not sure where to start? Try Topsy, Social Mention and Google Blog Search.
- Join groups on LinkedIn to share and discuss your latest blog posts, comments and ideas about the industry with like-minded professionals.
The idea here is to stay proactive, even when the chips are down. Unemployment can be a drag, but it will be more so if you let yourself get defeated by another obstacle on your way to getting hired.
By following the tips featured above, you can remain competitive—if not gain an advantage—in the market by keeping your online presence in tip-top shape and refining the edges of your overall portfolio.
Christopher Jan Benitez is the writer for the PrintRunner Blog and swears by print brochures as his choice for promoting himself and his business.