Public or Private? Leveraging an Online Presence in Your Job Search

If a recruiter can’t find you online, then they can’t find you at all.

A powerful online presence can (and often does) make or break a job search. So what does a jobseeker’s online presence look like? It’s more than just having a profile on a few big-name pages. Instead, it’s about story. An out-of-date photo and a list of past employers doesn’t tell your story the way it deserves. What about your biggest wins? Who were your most recognizable clients? More importantly, what are your peers saying about you?

Here are 3 key steps to successfully manage your online presence in the midst of a job search:

1.      Keep it current.

During the job search, sometimes even the most organized professionals can forget where they uploaded their resume and what versions they’ve used. Make a list of all the sites where you’ve submitted your resume so when you make a change, you’ll know everywhere you’ll need to make the update.

2.      Hiring managers use Google, too.

When recruiters and employers run a search on your name, you want that to help your chances of being hired, not hurt them. If you have social profiles you’re not using in your job search, consider altering your settings or displayed name so your online social activity is not associated with your professional job search.

3.      Attract the right attention.

Having a strong, targeted online presence can be a great way to be noticed as an expert in your field. Professional knowledge sharing through blogs and social networks are potential routes to connecting with other professionals, industry experts and recruiters that can help you find your next big opportunity.

This doesn’t mean you need to start feverishly deleting all those bachelor(ette) party photos. Most social networking sites allow you share specific content with customizable audiences, so no deletion is necessary. Make doubly sure that you’re aware of what you’re sharing and who you’re sharing it with, and you can use your online presence to conduct a successful job search without taking the “social” out of “social networking.”

Ask yourself the following: Does your online presence help recruiters find you? Does it aid in presenting you as a well-qualified and desirable candidate? If not, fix it immediately. Don’t let pictures and posts give a poor impression of you to potential employers.