These days, the most effective way to find a job is to attract employers to you. How can you do that? By creating and maintaining public profiles on these 6 powerful Websites. The payoff for you will be substantial and long-term.
The good news is that these sites are free for you to use, currently. The bad news is that this will take some time and work to create and to manage. Not a lot because much of what you create for one site (LinkedIn, for example) can be used with minor modifications on other sites.
In addition, these effort will pay off for you when you have captured the interest of a recruiter or potential employer who researches you to see what information is available about you on the Web because they will find these sites, often at the top of the first page of search results.
[If you haven't already set up a Google Alert on your name, do that, immediately. This is not the time to be modest. This is the time to begin to manage your online reputation if you haven't already started.]
Establishing recruiter magnets will take a while, so get started ASAP, and set aside one or two hours a week (or more, if you are unemployed) to create and manage your Web identities.
1. Your LinkedIn Profile
Whether or not you are actually job hunting right now, a LinkedIn Profile is a MUST-DO these days. And, if you are currently happy in your job, a robust (“100% complete” in LinkedIn terms) LinkedIn Profile can make you more effective in your existing job. It also lays good groundwork for your next job because LinkedIn is so important to recruiters.
And, don’t forget to join Job-Hunt’s Job-Hunt Help LinkedIn Group to get help with your job search issues. It’s free for anyone to join. Also join Groups that are associated with your profession and location, and be active in those Groups. They are great for expanding your network!
2. Your Google Profile
This will show up at the bottom of the first page of Google search results on any search with your name, and it can be as robust as your LinkedIn Profile. Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt’s Personal Branding Expert, wrote an excellent article on Leveraging Your Google Profile.
3. Your official Twitter account.
Be sure to complete the Twitter Bio, including a description of who you are and where you are. Read the Twitter SEO for Job Search blog post for more details. Stay on-topic with this account. Use a different Twitter account to talk about the kids, the dogs, and Starbucks.
4. Your Business Week’s Business Exchange Profile.
This will also connect with your LinkedIn account as well, and offers the opportunity for credibility in the business world. Submit content on various appropriate topics and also comment on what has been submitted by others. If you see a niche which is not covered by Business Exchange topic, you can suggest a new one and become it’s “currator” with personal credit in the description of the topic. You can also follow other members of the BX community.
5. Your personal account on Amazon.
Review products, books, videos, and other items on Amazon using your personal account and your real name. Make them thoughtful, well-written, and logical. You’ll be able to pull these into your LinkedIn account, and they’ll also be visible to the entire Web when someone Googles your name.
6. Your own Website, Web Portfolio, or blog (on your own domain name).
Register your name as a domain name, and also register the common misspellings of your name to forward to your “real” domain name. You can register domain names at GoDaddy.com for $10 a year, and it’s worth it to “capture” your name, even if you don’t immediately create a Website using that domain name. This is not a blanket endorsement of all of GoDaddy’s products and services, but they do a good job of inexpensive domain registration and make it relatively easy to manage domains, too.
Once you have registered your domain name, you can use it for many things that will enhance your online identity and help raise your visibility in the world as well as the job market.
- Use the domain name for your blog , your personal resume Website, and/or an online portfolio of your work.
- Put your personal URL in your email signature, along with your LinkedIn profile, etc.
- Use search optimization techniques with your name and profession as the keyword phrases to be optimized – in the title tags, in the meta tags, in the headings, etc. http://www.job-hunt.org/resumeHTMLfinal.shtml
- Link TO your personal Website from the various online community sites LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo, etc. etc.
- Write articles or “guest” blog postings for various appropriate industry/professional sites which offer links back as “compensation.”
- Register your personal Website with Yahoo, even paying the $299 for a Yahoo Directory Submit. Nothing puts a Website on “the map” (ANY Website) like a Yahoo listing. http://add.yahoo.com/fast/add?2052727
- If appropriate, add your speaking calendar, book reviews, testimonials/recommendations, mentions in the press, etc.
- Issue press releases offering new, relevant information about the appropriate industry/profession, distribute on the Web, with links back to your Website.
Also check out VisualCV, ZoomInfo, Emurse, and other similar sites where you can establish and control your public profile. Google the name of someone you think has a good public profile and see which sites link to them. That will give you some ideas on how to leverage the presence you have and increase it.
We all need to become very good at establishing and managing our public personas, whether we label it personal branding or reputation management. Managing your online reputation is unavoidable in the 21st century. If you do not manage your public persona, you will be vulnerable to bad luck or someone else’s agenda.
And, remember it is VERY important to keep all of Job-Hunt’s advice in protecting your privacy, identity, and family in mind while you do this!
About the author…
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg.