By: Chris Skaggs | @chrislskaggs
Do you wish more potential employers would swipe right when they viewed your online profile? In today’s technology-driven world, a beautiful and carefully thought-out online presence absolutely increases your chances of catching a potential employer’s eye. LinkedIn, with 430 million users and growing at a rate of two new users per second, is certainly the social network that comes to mind first – for both job seekers and employers. However, a cultivated personal brand across a variety of social platforms truly ups the ante for potential employers looking to move beyond the flirting stage.
With the announcement of LinkedIn’s acquisition by Microsoft, now is the perfect time for job seekers to improve online presence. Here are five tips to better manage your digital platforms in order to land that job you’ve been dreaming about:GET A PIC
A profile picture not only humanizes you. People feel a deeper personal connection when they can view the person they’re engaging with. On LinkedIn, profiles with a photo get up to 11 times more views than profiles with no photo. Many heat map studies have also been conducted on a variety of social networks, and the area where the profile picture is published consistently sees high activity.
You don’t have to invest in a professional photographer, but do make sure that the photograph looks professional and speaks to who you are. Don't be afraid to show a little personality, but please, don’t use photos that you’ve cropped other people out of. With smartphones and at least one good friend, we all have the ability to have a simple headshot taken.CREATE A PERSONAL WEBSITE
There are a wealth of platforms available today that can allow even individuals who are not tech-savvy to create a beautiful and professional personal website. A personal website is not only a great place to manage your online presence as you build and nurture your personal brand, but it is also a perfect avenue to show off your work. Use your personal website as a centralized hub for all things you, and be sure to share your contact information and social media links.
Additionally, having your own personal website shows potential employers that you take pride in your work and have something unique to offer them. Think of it as an online resume with the added benefit of a portfolio!
STOP WRITING IN THIRD-PERSON
Biographies written in the third-person have their place - on corporate website leadership pages or when others are writing about how great you are. Your online presence should be personal and about you, so you should write it in the first-person. Remember, you are trying to sell yourself here and land that dream job. Your personal elevator pitch should tell others what they can expect from you, and directness is key. As a potential employer, I would much rather hear about how “you” doubled sales or how “you” were instrumental in the project implementation vs. how “he/she” consistently exceeded quarterly numbers.
POST MEANINGFUL CONTENT, AND POST IT REGULARLY
So you have social media accounts, but you never post any content? Not good! You should always be thinking about how to provide valuable content to your audience, consistently. Through thoughtful content publication, you will gain credibility in your industry. Valuable content is also a type of currency that you can cash in on when the time is right.
Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk has built a hugely successful empire by providing valuable content to clients before ever making “the ask.” In his best selling book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, he says, “Creating content that allows us to share our experiences, thoughts, and ideas in real time is becoming an intrinsic part of life in the twenty-first century.”GOOGLE YOURSELF
“You’re so vain…” But, seriously, regularly check what is showing up in popular search engines when someone looks for you. Employers are searching for your online presence more than ever during the recruitment process, and some may consider it a red flag if they can’t locate you online. Look at what is already out there about you, and see what you can leverage. You also might consider doing a social media cleanup if those photos of you doing a keg stand in college are still showing up (…you know who you are).
Failing to create and maintain an online presence could create some serious missed opportunities for you to really shine with a potential employer. A “swipe right”-worthy profile is not hard to create, but it does take some dedication. By following our five easy tips, you will be well on your way.