By Susan P. Joyce
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 foundation of your Personal SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
The payoff for you will be substantial and long-term -- a shorter job search and a better career going forward.
The good news is that all 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 your visibility. But, don't feel you must start everything at once. Start with your LinkedIn Profile and go on from there. If you have time for only one of these "magnets,"LinkedIn is where you should spend your time.
And, once you join these magnets, you will need to monitor and participate in any appropriate activities (like LinkedIn Group Discussions).
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 Defensive Googling, and it is not optional. Now 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.
Whether or not you are actually job hunting right now, a LinkedIn Profile is a MUST-DO these days. Over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find qualified job candidates.
Even if you are currently happily (or unhappily) employed, a robust LinkedIn Profile can make you more effective in your existing job. LinkedIn also lays good groundwork for your next job because it is so important to recruiters.
Read Identify Exactly the Right Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile and all of Job-Hunt’s Guide to LinkedIn for Job Search articles for more information.
Recruiters scour LinkedIn Groups looking for people who are both knowledgeable and good communicators, so LinkedIn Groups are an excellent way to bring yourself to the attention of many recruiters.
Over two million LinkedIn Groups exist. They are easy to join and easy to leave. Every LinkedIn member may join 50 groups, but the average number members have joined is seven. Join Groups for your industry, your location, professional associations and societies, and, of course, your schools and former employers (two kinds of very useful "alumni" Groups).
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!
The biggest source of jobs in the world is giant job aggregator, Indeed.com, one of Job-Hunt's Sponsors. In addition to job postings, Indeed has an option that recruiters love, called Indeed Resume. You'll need to register a My Indeed account, and then you can upload your resume.
Indeed allows employers to search Indeed Resume for free, but to reach an applicant, they need to pay Indeed for the contact information.
If you are employed, do not post your resume with your name and the name of your employer. Substitute your target job title for your name and replace the name of your employer with a generic description. For more details on keeping your identity safe, read Creating Your Cyber-Safe Resume.
Twitter can be a great deal of fun as well as good networking. Be sure to complete the Twitter Bio, including a description of who you are and where you are.
Focus both your Twitter Bio and your tweets on your job search goals rather than your favorite sports teams or hobbies - at least until you have found your next job.
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, the Yankees, and Starbucks.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and it is searched by many recruiters and employers looking for qualified job candidates. See Job-Hunt's Guide to Guide to Using Facebook for Job Search for details.
It hopefully goes without saying that you should be very circumspect with your Facebook postings. Many people have lost opportunities as a result of what they posted on Facebook. Recruiters definitely search through Facebook to understand more about your personality and how you would "fit" into their organizations.
Go to plus.Google.com to set up your Google+ Profile. It will show up on Google search results on any search using your name, and it can be more robust than your LinkedIn Profile. Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt’s Personal Branding Expert, wrote an excellent article on Personal Branding with Your Google Plus Profile and the Job-Hunt Guide to Using Google Plus for Your Job Search offers more advice.
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.
Also check out 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.
For more information about establishing your blog, see Platforms for Job Search Blogging.
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 about protecting your privacy, identity, and family in mind while you do this!
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management since 2012, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and onGoogle+.