Being found in the vast crowd of job applicants and job candidates is critical today. The solution is to be easily found through your use of appropriate online media.
By creating and maintaining this public visibility, you will have laid 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 but the last of these sites are free for you to use. 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 to maintain your visibility, always acting appropriately and professionally, of course.
In addition, these effort will pay off for you when you have captured the interest of a recruiter or potential employer who researches you (and 90+ percent of them will research you!).
They will find these sites, often at the top of the first page of Google's search results, when they search on the name of a candidate they are considering.
[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.
Then, set aside one or two hours a week (or more, if you are unemployed) to create and manage your Web identities.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world today. 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.
The lack of a complete and current Profile actually can hamper your job search today. Observers will wonder if you understand how to be successful in today's technology-biased environment.
Even if you are currently happily employed, a robust LinkedIn Profile can make you more effective in your existing job, making you and your employer visible to potential customers/clients and networking contacts. LinkedIn also lays good groundwork for your next job because it is so important to recruiters.
Be active, even if only weekly, to make it clear to recruiters and other network members that you are active (savvy) and reachable.
Read Choosing the Best Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile and all of Job-Hunt’s Guide to LinkedIn for Job Search articles for more information.
The biggest source of jobs in the world is giant job aggregator, Indeed.com. 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. So, be sure your LinkedIn Profile has personal -- not work -- contact information visible, ike your personal email account, in the Summary section where even people who are not connected to you, like a recruiter, can find a way to reach you.
If you are currently employed, do not post your resume with your name and the name of your employer.
When employed, 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 -- and your current job -- safe, read Creating Your Cyber-Safe Resume.
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 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.
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 100 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 Groups that are associated with your profession and location, and be active in those Groups. Maintain your professional image by participating appropriately in Groups. Don't be nasty, negative, or otherwise unprofessional in Groups. Those actions will be seen, and they will negatively impact your professional image which will impact your job search and career.
For the greatest visibility, join the gigantic (1.8 million member) Software & Technology Group (by using LinkedIn, you qualify as someone using technology). This Group has thousands of recruiters as members, so you will be more visible to them by joining.
Also join Job-Hunt’s Job-Hunt Help LinkedIn Group to get help with your job search issues. These Groups are free for anyone to join, and they are great for expanding your network and increasing your visibility.
Read recruiter Jeff Lipschultz's How to Be a Successful LinkedIn Groupie for tips.
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.
Since 2014, LinkedIn has offered all members the opportunity to post their articles on the LinkedIn Pulse platform (like a blog).
LinkedIn automatically connects your posts to your LinkedIn Profile, making the 3 most recent posts visible to anyone viewing your Profile. Since recruiters scour LinkedIn looking for people who are both knowledgeable and good communicators, LinkedIn Posts are an excellent way to bring yourself to the attention of many recruiters.
Read How to Gain Both Visibility and Credibility on LinkedIn and Build Your Personal Brand by Blogging on LinkedIn for more information.
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 $15 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.
We all need to become very good at establishing and managing our public personas, whether we label it personal SEO, personal branding, or personal online reputation management. Manage your online visibility to be found by potential customers, clients, and networking contacts as well as employers and recruiters. This is necessary for a smart job search in the 21st century.
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 recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, 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 on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.