Managing Your Online Professional Presence
Let me preface this blog with this: Modern technology job hunting is all I’ve ever known. Old legends and wives’ tales tell of times where people could be hired into careers based solely off of a piece of paper– called a résumé– and a few kind words from friends and mentors — called references. News flash: employers have more resources to know exactly who they bringing into their company. Namely the Internet.
So, where do you start when creating a professional online presence? I’d go with what I think is the most obvious: LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great place to market the Professional You online. Seriously, it’s the most comparable thing to an online résumé.
On LinkedIn you can:
- Add your previous and current work experience/education
- Have previous and current employers write references
- List your skills… things like Photoshop, Microsoft Office, etc.
- Show off awards and honors you achieved
- Tell prospective employers more about yourself by providing a summary and additional interests
LinkedIn is also an ideal place to express your interest in companies and broaden your professional network. If I were in your shoes, I would ‘follow’ companies that I could see myself working at—this will keep you in the loop with what’s going on in their world. Check out MultiView’s LinkedIn page here. It’s also a great idea to ‘connect’ with past coworkers and employers.
Oh, and probably the coolest thing about LinkedIn? Landing a job. Yep. There’s a cute little tab at the top of the page labeled Jobs. This would be the place where you apply for REAL JOBS. Search for jobs by job title, industry, location… seriously, go to town with the Advanced Search. Here’s a shortcut to MultiView’s LinkedIn Jobs. Thank me later.
“More than a third of U.S. employers say they consult social-networking sites during hiring at least some of the time, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 human-resources workers released this year by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background-check firm,” states an article by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries in the Wall Street Journal. Read the whole article here.
What I’m going to tell you here is to use common sense. Most employers are normal people, too. They want to see other normal, social people having fun and connecting with friends and family, but, yeah—that picture of freshman year in college doing a keg stand has got to go. And don’t go off the deep-end with that Twitter rant. I would say the cardinal rule of social media & getting you a job is keep it PG.
So, get to it. Manage your online professional presence so you can land your dream job.