With the continuous rise of technology comes the ability for companies to increase production without increasing their number of employees.
Saving money is great. For the company, of course.
But this doesn’t bode well for job hunters. The job market these days is competitive.
Employers are no longer basing their decisions solely on a well-thought-out, professional resume. They’re digging deeper. They’re checking out an applicant’s online presence. They want the real story of who you are, not the premeditated one.
Why your online presence is important
There are many reasons why developing a professional online identity is important, so we’ll focus on the ones that will help you in your hunt for the perfect job.
- You have control of first impressions. The days of first impressions happening at the interview are long gone. Your online presence creates your first impression, which means you’re in charge of it.
- Hiring Managers will look there first. By now, most employers know that it’s fairly easy to baffle them with BS in a resume. Your online presence reveals all.
- It looks bad if you don’t have one. Just like when you search for a business online and can’t find anything about them, it looks suspicious if employers can’t figure out who you are online, if you’re even present online at all.
- Your online presence is a perfect time to stand out from the crowd. You have a unique opportunity to sell yourself and show employers that you are the best candidate for a job in a sea of possibly mundane, but highly qualified, applicants.
Social media isn’t just for socializing. It’s for strategy. Being omnipresent online means your name can show up in all the right places and all the right times, so you are more likely to be seen by recruiters.
How to create a solid online presence when job hunting
First of all, be very aware of what you’re posting. You must take into consideration that your potential boss does not want to see whatever unprofessional thing you posted online.
Check out what some employers have to say about this topic in an article from Business News Daily.
So, here’s the scoop on how to create what you do want them to see:
- Create a personal website, especially if you work in tech or are a service-based professional. Have an about section, professional pictures of yourself, any community service projects that you’ve done, and, of course, what you actually do. Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress are fairly user-friendly and inexpensive. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it does need to be polished and professional.
- Establish a social media presence. You don’t need to be on aaaaaaall the platforms, but you should choose 1 or 2. Pick what works best with your profession. Are you a designer? Instagram is your jam. If you’re an IT person for hire, LinkedIn will be your go-to. Either way, it should not have pictures of you doing (or saying) questionable things. If your mama wouldn’t like it, don’t post it. But if you’re into tech and tacos, post away!
- Commit to consistency. You have a website. You have social media accounts. Now post to them. It doesn’t have to be every day, but you should be posting at least 3 times a week. And, be sure to switch up your posts! Some examples of potential content include your behind-the-scenes life, your professional endeavors, your interests, and your community service projects
- Start a blog or become a guest blogger. Not everyone’s a writer, but starting a blog or guest blogging shows employers your writing skills and knowledge of your field.
- Create a portfolio. Establish one location for all the examples of professional work you’ve done. These can be placed on your website, or you can create one on another platform. Behance is an excellent one. Make sure your portfolio is clean, professional, easy to navigate, and creative.
At the end of the day, if you can create a rabbit hole of a fascinating social media presence, well-written and intriguing blog posts, and beautifully designed examples of your work, a hiring manager will fall right into it. Before they know it, they’ll be emailing you to set up an interview!
Don’t stop there, though! It’s still very important to maintain your online presence long after you’ve landed your dream job. Keep your social media platforms, blogs, and portfolio up-to-date indefinitely so they’re ready just in case you ever need them.