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Building A Professional Online Presence

Job seekers often forget that employers are highly likely these days to Google potential job candidates to see what else they might learn about a potential hire. I’ve written before that what they find online, will either help or hurt your chances of receiving an offer.  I’ve written about being careful of what you post so that careless, crass, or unprofessional Google search results don’t throw you out of consideration.

Most times, you will not know why interest in your background stalled, the employer simply doesn’t move forward. They won’t tell you it’s because of something they found online. Carefully curating an online presence that enhances your attractiveness as a new employee can help.

How can you do that?

Here are a few ideas and suggestions…

Comment on industry blogs and articles. Writing professional, thoughtful, and value-added comments on industry or field related blog posts or online articles can add stature to your career. It shows that you care about your industry, that you’re knowledgeable, and that you contribute to the discussion. Those comments are also very likely to come up in a Google search as well!

Maximize your LinkedIn profile. One of the most likely search results for anyone, is their LinkedIn profile. It often comes up as one of the first few items. Creating a complete and compelling profile is one of the best ways to create a positive impression for an employer. There is a lot of information available on this site and many others about how to make the most of the impression you create.

Create a professional Twitter stream. Twitter can be a powerful tool to create a professional presence online. It can also damage a reputation if used carelessly. Rather than tweeting where you got your last cup of coffee or ranting about politics or celebrities… use it to share articles you like about your field or industry. Discuss related business trends and Re-Tweet other related news or pieces of information that add value for your career.

Submit articles to industry or trade publications. Many trade journals are always looking for good relevant content for their websites or other online publications. Writing compelling pieces related to their focus will often give you opportunities to have them post the piece online. It never hurts to ask! Offering to write a piece for other blogs often works as well.

Start a blog. Creating a blog relevant to your field can be a very effective way to build a professional presence online. Writing about topics relevant to your career shows that you are ‘plugged in’, that you care about your field, and can communicate effectively. Blogs often become very visible on Google searches as well.

Anything you add online ought to be well written, free of foul language, free of bitterness or harsh criticisms, and free of personal attacks. However, by persistently seeking opportunities and adding to relevant online discussions can enhance your professional image when a potential employers searches your name on Google.

Be deliberate about your online activity and you may find it helps your job search!


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