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Making Your Online Profile Work For You

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Make no mistake; these days a person’s digital presence plays an incredibly important role in securing a job. Have a go at searching your name online and see what you find – because that is what a potential employer is likely to do. Does a Googleenquiry turn up impressive evidence of your experience, achievements and tenacity or just an out of date resume and a few pictures of you holding a beer at social events?

The former suggests that you are highly professional and committed to your career; the latter indicates that you haven’t given your online profile much thought. Remember, this might meant the difference between getting a job and not even being called for an interview.

Your online profile consists not only of your resume and background information posted on job search sites, but also websites and blogs attached to your name and any Twitter or other public social media accounts that you hold.

Here are some tips on building a successful online profile.

Photos

At Profilr, we’ve discovered that profiles with pictures get 87% more views. Like it or not, the absence of a portrait photo on public profile sites tends to sound a warning bell for employers. With so many other members posting pictures, your future boss might wonder if you don’t know how to upload one, or whether you are not the person you say you are.

It’s worth investing in having a professional photo taken. It should be a high-quality, recent, head and shoulders shot taken against a neutral background. Dress appropriately (as if you were in a work situation), smile and appear approachable. Avoid hats and sunglasses.

Internet presence

  • Besides maintaining up-to-date profiles on job search websites like Profilr, one of the best ways to build and disseminate your career ‘brand’ is by having a professional website detailing your accomplishments. Think about buying a domain name appropriate to your name and post a resume, accompanied by examples of your recent work and references. Remember to use ‘keywords’ that will get you noticed by prospective employers looking for someone with your qualifications.
  • Maintain a professional blog. This is a great way of showcasing your range, style, knowledge and experience. The blog can focus on a particular profession, or different subjects related to your career. Provide links in different formats, including audio and images. Try to make it as cutting edge as possible, especially if you work in a fast moving industry.
  • Join a variety of social-networking sites. Don’t be afraid to ‘like’ or connect with people you don’t know, search out friends and ask other members which alternative sites they use. This is a good way for people to see that you are interested and engaged. Remember that networking – online and in person – is the one of the best job-hunting tools.
  • Twitter, where you ‘tweet’ short comments, statements and links is a great way to get your presence and ideas out there, receive instant feedback and also make new connections.

Be professional

  • Remember that what goes online stays online. Think carefully about how you are going to come across before you create a profile and post comments. Irony often doesn’t translate in cyberspace; so don’t be tempted to be too harsh and negative.
  • Make sure your profiles on different sites don’t contradict each other, are accurate, use correct spellings and are frequently updated.

It’s well worth investing time, and even a little money, in getting your online profile right. Not only will it give you peace of mind that if potential employers checks you out they will be impressed, but it gives you something concrete to build on for your future career development. Investing in your online presence now can also save you time in the future, as the right kind of people will get in touch with you about new opportunities, rather than you having to seek them out.

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