When an employer considers you for a job, they almost certainly look to the Internet to see what you’re all about. As Hannah Morgan reports for U.S. News & World Report, 51 percent of hiring managers say they use search engines to vet candidates, and 52 percent use social media. These numbers underscore the importance of your digital footprint.
The key is to “proactively manage what you put online,” Morgan writes, and to help with that, she goes on to outline “5 Ways Jobseekers Can Boost Their Online Reputations.” Her first tip: “show tenure and experience.” The easiest way to do this is posting your resume on LinkedIn, but as Morgan writes, you should also create a personal website with your career history. Bonus points if you can roll the info into something creative, like an infographic or slideshow.
Next up, you want to “show proof of work.” This makes sense, as you’ll want to show you’re able to do whatever type of job you’re in the market for. Put work samples on your LinkedIn page and personal website, and try to get your content on other sites to increase your visibility.
Across all platforms, you’ll want to “show personality,” Morgan says, since companies don’t just look for people who are capable — they want people who’ll jibe with the team and be easy to manage. “Include why you’ve chosen your field and what motivates you to do your best work,” Morgan writes, adding that video can be a useful way to demonstrate your uniqueness.
Morgan’s fourth tip is to “share reviews and positive recommendations,” which can be done via the “recommendations” feature on LinkedIn. You can also post testimonials on your website. Why is this important? As Morgan says, many define your “personal brand” as “what other people say about you when you’re not in the room,” and this is a chance to highlight the relationships you’ve built over the years.
Lastly, Morgan suggests you “show communication skills” — seen as extremely important by many employers — by referencing any public speaking you’ve done and giving plenty of writing samples. Got video clips of yourself totally rocking presentations or speeches? Post those — and add extra validity to your claims by linking to any professional organizations you’re part of.