In these difficult economic times, seeking a job or a job change is perhaps more challenging than ever. There are more qualified candidates than available jobs, meaning that recruiters have deep talent pools from which to choose applicants they can confidently forward to their clientele. If you are someone looking to modify your current career circumstances, how can you attract the attention of those recruiters active in your preferred industry? Are there things you can do to increase your visibility? Is it possible to use your online presence to get noticed?
There are some simple ways to make it easy for recruiters to find you by establishing a comprehensive strategy utilizing your presence on social networking sites (SNS). You do have a social media presence for professional reasons, right? If not, setting up accounts on Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and perhaps other SNS must move to the top of your list of priorities.
Remember, the goal is to make it easy for recruiters to find you on the internet. However, simply finding you isn’t enough if what they find is harmful rather than helpful to your professional image/reputation. In politics and advertising it’s often said that bad publicity is good publicity “as long as they spell your name right.” Not when it comes to your reputation. In many ways, losing your good name online is similar to having your identity stolen: It is almost impossible to restore it fully.
Almost as difficult is the ability to completely restrict access to what you post on the internet (or perhaps even worse, what is posted about you). You can’t retract information once it is put into cyberspace. In other words, you can’t erase your tracks because your web footprints are permanent. Take care then, to clean up your online persona before you make it easy for recruiters to find you (including “unfriending” people whose presence or posts embarrass you).
Now you are ready to employ some proactive measures that will heighten your online profile, enhance your professional bona fides and make you discoverable to recruiters.
1. Facebook: Use the privacy settings to ensure that only what you want to be made public is available to the public. Use a variation of your name (perhaps first initial or middle name). Consistently monitor your page for posts and delete those you would not want an employer to see. Always take extreme care in what you post.
2. LinkedIn: Complete your profile completely (this applies to all SNS that request profile information). Apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and use keywords that have meaning in your industry/desired line of work.
3. Blog: Simple, usually fun, and a great way to communicate expertise relating to your profession or areas of interest. Do take care in posting anything controversial.
4. Write: Your writing defines how others perceive you. Write/publish articles for online posting or comment on professional association and industry sites. Become known for what you know!
5. Register your name as a domain name. Use it for your email and blog.
6. Create a ‘website’: Easier than you think, a personal website provides recruiters more than just your resume; it gives them what you want them to read, to see (photos), to hear (audio files) and view (videos) about you. Include links to works that you’ve published or include a page which contains examples of your work. Recruiters can forward the URL to prospective employers, essentially allowing you to make a pre-interview presentation.
7. YouTube yourself: Engaging and informational videos are a highly effective way to become known. Refresh content often to “…keep ‘em coming back for more.”
When looking for qualified applicants, those who recruit have access to pools of almost unlimited talent. Make it easy for them to find you when they dive in.