Many new grads, or even professionals looking to change careers, get stuck in the job hunting process. They feel they have all of the qualifications but don’t know why they’re not making progress or finding any leads. These struggles often come down to their online presence, or lack thereof.
Here’s the deal – potential employers are going to search for you, and building a positive online image allows you to take control what they see. If you do not have a strong online presence, you’re putting yourself at a big disadvantage against those who do. Here’s how to fix it…
Start With LinkedIn
Employers are increasingly using LinkedIn as a candidate research and recruiting tool. LinkedIn has even started its own recruiting services, where employers can pay to be able to search for people with specific skills and flag them, all while remaining anonymous. You can even apply to jobs directly on LinkedIn, and oftentimes the application automatically uploads all of your information straight from your profile, so you don’t have to do much.
This means creating a polished profile and steady presence on the network is a must. Stand out by going beyond who you are and what you do when writing your summary and other content. Let potential employers and others who come across your profile know what inspires you and why you get up in the morning.
Stay Active On Twitter
Twitter is a great place to showcase your personality and let people know there is a person behind the profile. While it’s still important to remain professional, Twitter lets you build your brand in a more personal way. People want to do business with people. Tweeting about things that interest you or that you care about outside of a work environment shows that you are a real person.
Twitter also allows you to follow companies and people you look up to and start a conversation with them. Replying to tweets is a great way to get the attention of a potential employer. It’s also a great platform to share links to your work and give people a chance to have a conversation with you.
If you can build a community on Twitter you can easily share your industry expertise and influence across a broader audience, making a name for yourself within your industry.
Be Interesting And Engaging
When I look at potential hires, I want to see active social media profiles. I work in PR, but knowledge of social media goes well beyond the public relations field. It’s becoming an increasingly important skill across many sectors. Take advantage of different social media platforms by using them to have conversations with people and develop relationships. Share industry news as well as your own work, and comment on other people’s postings. Having active social media accounts shows that you are taking part in the global conversation these platforms facilitate.
Employers, recruiters and HR managers are leaning on social media and other online resources now more than ever. Now is the time to upgrade your online image, or risk being overlooked or disqualified from some great opportunities.
Brian Hart is the Founder & President at Flackable, an award-winning public relations agency representing financial and professional services brands nationwide. To learn more about Flackable, please visit flackable.com. Follow Brian on Twitter at @BrianHartPR.
This is an updated version of an article originally published on 6/2/15.