The online profile is essential in today's job search. You'll find that hiring managers are increasingly looking for talent through the use of online profiles, and if you're not present on the web, they can't find you for those unpublished positions. To get you started with online profiles, you'll first want to consider which ones are most appropriate for you. You want to focus on those that are professional and not social. In professional sites, you're able to better reflect your skills, knowledge, and qualifications.
In choosing the sites to build your profile, think about where hiring managers are most likely to find you. Here are some sites you might want to consider. LinkedIn is one of the most widely used sites by HR professionals to connect with highly qualified candidates. Xing.com is similar to LinkedIn, but more European-based. Twitter.com, a microblogging site, has many uses for the job search. For example, you can establish yourself as an expert through your tweets.
Plaxo.com is an enhanced address book, with networking capability, and finally, zoominfo.com, which allows you to claim your profile and control your web identity. You may also want to check out specialty sites for your area of interest. Sites can be found for entrepreneurs, small business owners, artists, and many more. No matter which sites you choose to represent yourself online, I recommend you follow these five basic strategies for creating an effective profile.
The first strategy is to create a summary or a pitch of your career interest. Your pitch should be a memorable statement of unique qualities you bring to the workforce. No matter what you choose to bring into the pitch, it should be a coherent story of your career interests. Second, make your profile keyword-rich. HR professionals can narrow the pool of candidates by searching for specific and unique keywords. If keywords aren't included on your profile, you may never be found.
You may want to search their job descriptions to find the important keywords that will be helpful to describe yourself and your skills. Third, include a link to your resume. You may build your resume on a web site, use one of the many vendors that specialize in visual resumes, or upload to the site with special applications. Fourth, most sites will allow you to personalize the URLs. This will allow people to find you quickly and give you higher prominence in search results.
Finally, you want a complete profile and recommendations if possible. They tell the employer that you're detail-oriented, care about your presentation, and are a credible candidate. You'll also want to think about any social networks you are on and make sure that you set privacy settings accordingly, so a consistent professional image of you is portrayed. Now that you have your online profile ready to go, you'll want to continue increasing your visibility online so that jobs are coming to you versus you seeking them.
In the next chapter, we'll go over blogging and using networking sites to establish yourself as the candidate of choice.
Along the way, discover smart strategies to match your interests with your search and manage your time in order to maximize results.
- Valerie's top five job search tips
- Determining which online job boards to use
- Posting your resume online
- Maximizing the impact of your profile
- Improving your visibility with a blog, workshop, or conferences
- Leveraging your network
- Establishing relationships with recruiters