Gone are the days when writing a cover letter, uploading a resume, and clicking submit on the ATS is the path to success. Now, job hunters need to create a digital footprint that makes them sought after.
As an experiment, use incognito mode in Chrome to Google yourself. This is what a recruiter or hiring manager will see– all of the links that appear about you, including your LinkedIn profile, social media pages, and website (if you have one). That is why you must ensure that your online presence portrays you and your abilities in the best possible light.
Many experts can advise you on how to improve your online presence to secure your next job. Here are a few things to do:
Perform a social media audit.
Make a list of all the accounts you already have before you start working on enhancing your online presence. Deactivate any that you aren’t using, like your circa 2004 Myspace account.
Next, look for any inconsistencies in the active profiles you want to keep accessible (think display name, handle, headshot, and bio). If they don’t fit, make changes to ensure that your messaging is consistent.
Create a website
Although your website will probably contain almost the same information as your resume, it can help you secure your next job. After all, you are not constrained by space, so you can be more detailed about how you present your experience. You decide what people get to find out about you. You can show it however you want– text, audio, video— you decide instead of a platform.
Many services, including those offered by your web host, make websites easy to create.
Closely examine your LinkedIn profile to make sure it is up to date.
When it comes to your work, LinkedIn is the most important social media site. It’s a site where you can put your professional story to life, rather than a digital version of your resume where you merely recount past roles.
Start by updating your headline, the lines that appear immediately after your name, representing your experience and expertise better (LinkedIn now what to use five lines of information). Instead of just “project manager,” you might claim “Project Manager for Enterprise Systems and Services.”
The idea is to catch the attention of hiring managers and recruiters who want to understand what makes you different than the other 25 profiles that they have already read that sound just like yours. Remember, LinkedIn sells a service called LinkedIn Recruiter to companies and recruiters that allows them to search their entire database to find people to fit their jobs. If everyone’s profile is the same, why should they contact you?
When writing about your experience, don’t develop modesty and understate your successes. It is also an opportunity to enhance with additional information that didn’t make it into your resume.
Make the most of your online presence
Getting people to visit your page now that your social media is up to date and your website is up and running is next. That means changing your LinkedIn settings to let recruiters know you’re looking for work. (There’s even a way to do it quietly, so your boss isn’t aware of your changes by adjusting your privacy settings so that people you are connected with are not notified that you made a change to your profile). You should also begin actively engaging with your network so that your name and profile come up in their minds when opportunities arise.
You also need to start reaching out to people outside of your network, particularly at target companies.
Include links to social media and your website in your email signature to help spread the word. Forward them to people you connect with your network so that they have the opportunity to send them to others when they become aware of an opportunity.
- Keep your data is up to date.
Make changes to your profile or website if you finish a large project at work or receive a glowing review from a customer. Ask people for whom you’ve done great work to write recommendations for you on LinkedIn that you can include on your website, too. That is true even after you’ve landed your next job and are no longer looking for work.
When I worked as a recruiter, a sales trainer named Steve Finkel taught persuasion techniques as part of the recruiting process. When faced with an “I’m not interested” response to one of our recruiting calls, Finkel suggested that we reply by saying, “I understand. But the person who gets ahead isn’t always the smartest or work the hardest, although, goodness knows, those are great qualities to have. The person who gets ahead is the one who remains alert to opportunity.” To which I would add, “sometimes those are internal to an organization, but typically they are external. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Keeping this information up to date on your LinkedIn profile, your resume, and your website will help other people find you when relevant opportunities materialize. After investing all this time and effort, it would be a shame to let it go to waste.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.
Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.
Watch my videos on YouTube at JobSearchTV.com, the Job SearchTV app for FireTV, Roku or a firestick or BingeNetworks.tv for AppleTV and 90 smart tv platforms.
You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”
Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes. It helps other people discover the show like you did.
Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.
Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.
Would you like me to critique your resume? Order a critique from me
Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.