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Building Your Online Presence

Having a strong online presence can be very helpful when searching for a job in today’s ever-changing market. Having a professional profile, using social media to your advantage, and participating in online communities can be key to your job search.

If you are actively looking for a new role, it’s important to make sure your online presence is up to date so you can explore new opportunities. But if it’s been a while since you’ve gone job hunting, you’ll need to devote some time to polishing off that resume and, most importantly, establishing a strong online presence.

Why an online presence?

You may be thinking, “Why do I need to do this? My resume and accomplishments speak for themselves.” Well, yes and no. While it’s important to update your tech resume, recruiters go looking for talent online on job boards and tech sites, especially in a tight marketplace when good resumes aren’t flowing in. If you don’t have a social presence, you’re making it harder for them to find you. And if you are a passive candidate – one who has a job but is looking around for something better – you can’t shout out to the world that you’re available for new work or risk your boss seeing it.

The value of establishing a strong online presence is that you can say so much more about yourself than what fits in a resume. For example, on LinkedIn you can add more detail to your job history, link to project examples, add accomplishments and get recommendations from professionals in your field. A great place to speak to your professional passion is in your LinkedIn profile introduction. Your profile can give recruiters insights as to who you are and what kind of work you are interested in.

Be active, not passive

Let’s say that you’re a software engineer with a passion for clean energy. Let that come through in your online presence. Find interesting posts on LinkedIn on sustainability and repost them with your comments. Link to interesting articles. Join professional groups that reflect your passion. Get involved in discussions around this topic and follow companies and people who are leaders in that area. Increase your connections and build your network. Anything that gets you more active will get you more visibility.

If you’re posting your resume on a job board, make yourself as accessible as possible by filling out all fields. Don’t be afraid to target the type of job you want. When you apply for an opening, highlight the content in your job history that matches key words in the job description. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for hiring employers to find you when they do an online search.

Even if you are a “passive” job seeker, there are many ways to be active. Search tools are run by AI algorithms that can find you if you’re doing the right things. So, if you are reviewing specific job postings, you may start seeing similar jobs forwarded to you. Even perusing job openings will help drive traffic to your profile. Recruiters often use software that can flag certain behaviors that indicate you’re open to work like when you update your LinkedIn profile and get more recommendations. These tools help recruiters find you quicker by the activity you’re doing passively. 

All these activities apply if you are actively looking for a position as well. If you’ve been laid off, there’s no shame. Many, many people have been affected by a layoff or acquisition in their career. Let people in your network know that you’re open to work. Recruiters can even search “open to work” on LinkedIn, using it as a filter to find available candidates. There are so many algorithms and so many ways that you can be noticed. Just being active is the trigger.

Reaching out to recruiters directly is a good tactic. Even if they don’t have an open posting, they are constantly collecting potential candidates. It’s valuable to speak with them for advice and to get on their radar. Let them know what you are looking for and what you have to offer.

If you’re looking to get into a specific company, use your network. Find people who work there with whom you have a relationship, that you trust and reach out to them. Let them know why you want to be part of that company. Ask if they can put you in touch with the right person to get you closer to that job.

Be who you are

Above all, don’t be afraid to be who you are. Sharing your passion helps employers who share the same passion find you. They are going to hire you for you. There’s no point in hiding who you are because it will come out in the interview and in your first months in the job. Focus on building an authentic online presence and be proactive in your job search. Getting yourself out there is the key.

Photo Credit: Canva

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