Promoting yourself online: marketing yourself as a professional / by Logan Lenz

Instead of flicking through newspapers or popping down to the local employment center, most of us conduct our job searches online; it’s quick, convenient and we can do it from the comfort of our couch. However, it’s worth remembering that while we’re scoping out jobs, prospective employers are also scoping out potential candidates. Therefore, what appears on those initial Google search pages is very telling and employers will ask themselves: is this person professional? Will they fit in with our existing team? Do they have the desirable expertise and knowledge? So, it makes sense that our online presence shows us in a positive light and only promotes our very best achievements and skills. We’re going to look at the top ways in which to market yourself online and ensure you have the best chance of landing that dream job. 

Be savvy about sharing 

Most of us have a Facebook profile or another online platform whereby we connect with family and friends. Sites like these are great for sharing photographs, arranging events or simply staying in touch with one another. Nonetheless, it’s imperative to keep in mind what a wider audience can see; you don’t exactly want a future employer coming across old photos of your wild college days or those questionable statuses that reveal far too much. For these reasons, it’s necessary to keep up-to-date with changing privacy settings; be wary of who can access what by filtering certain personal information. In short, don’t make everything public but, if you do, make sure the information that is public portrays you in a favorable way. Bad language, bad grammar and bad photos could cost you a job.  

Don’t shroud everything in secrecy 

Although it’s advisable to monitor certain aspects of what you share, it’s equally important not to hide everything. Employers that can’t find an online trace of a potential candidate will be on guard because it could indicate that they've have something to hide or all those things they bragged about on their CV aren’t true. Changing your name on Facebook so you’re unsearchable or making your tweets private may raise an eyebrow. Ultimately, you want to build an online presence to attract headhunters; you want to appear in search results, it’s simply a case of how and in what ways you do.

Take control with your own blog

Create your own blog or website with your desired audience in mind. Many top business leaders have successfully developed their own online platforms to better promote themselves and share business ideas, including David Kiger who heads-up one of the largest logistics companies in the United States. Popular blogs like David’s attract an impressive amount of online traffic with hundreds of viewing hits per day. Creating your own blog with regular posts not only highlights an ongoing commitment to your industry but also showcases your sparkling personality. After all, employers don't just want to see all your work-related commentary they also want to know that you’re a real person with a well-rounded character.  

Promote your portfolio 

Promoting your portfolio is crucial if you want to spark the interest of headhunters in your chosen area of work. This is especially true of the creative industries, such as graphic design, journalism and photography. Make your work available, provide links, and encourage friends and family to comment on them. 

Build a business profile 

A staggering 93% of all employers use LinkedIn to headhunt prospective employees, 66% use Facebook and 54% Twitter. These statistics demonstrate just how vital it is to utilize such websites for your job quests. Use them wisely; pick a professional looking profile picture, list your notable achievements, include references and keep everything up-to-date. You could even participate in online forums, comment on articles and submit reviews of books and movies relating to your desired field of work. 

Gone are the days where we simply handed in a CV on a piece of paper and crossed our fingers. We have the world at our fingertips with a few clicks. We have the opportunity to be our own PR assistant and market ourselves successfully. Make the most of it.