Just as you’re pressure cleaning your patio and organizing your closet this time of year, it’s also a great time to spruce up your digital footprint.
“A healthy online presence is not static and should reflect professional growth,” said Manhattan-based Murielle Mobengo, co-founder of agency Polymath, a career counseling firm for poets and artists. “Even if you’re not looking for new opportunities, tracking your progress and expansion is important to you and your future business partners. Employers are not only responding to skills development, but also to sustainability. Visible sustainability creates trust and real business relationships.
Gone are the days of simply submitting a resume to dozens of companies and crossing your fingers.
“With 58 million companies and millions of active recruiters on LinkedIn, having a professional online presence is a key way for companies to find and hire you,” said Daniel Lorenzo, CMO of Let’s Eat, Grandma , an Austin, Texas- based on a group of professional resumes and LinkedIn writers. “You need to leverage your network and show your full professional personality to stand out from other candidates – and your online branding is the best way to do both.”
Below is exactly how to do just that from pros who have seen it all and SEO.
Consider a blog
Establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry by simply putting virtual pen to paper.
“Blogging is versatile and most blogging platforms like WordPress or Medium have freemiums,” Mobengo said. “Your online visibility can benefit from their SEO strategy.”
Blogs also help establish expertise with little to no maintenance.
Or create a website
To impress recruiters or hiring managers, get quick and easy access to what they’re looking for on your professional website, said Amy Feind Reeves, founder and CEO of JobCoachAmy, which she founded in 2012 after 25 years as a as head of recruitment.
Feind Reeves noted that Squarespace is a very intuitive and inexpensive website builder and leaves you with a professional-looking product. You might also want to consider Wix and Bluehost. “Keep it simple,” Feind Reeves said. “Navigation should be easily visible from the landing page and contain only the essential elements of the value you offer, why a customer should choose you, and how they can take action.”
Update your LinkedIn title
Here’s a spring tune-up you can do in five seconds (OK, maybe five minutes, including thinking time), especially if you’re looking for a new gig.
“It’s crucial that you don’t leave your title as your current job title,” Lorenzo said. Instead, he suggested using this space on your LinkedIn profile to create an eye-catching brand statement with keywords related to the jobs you’re targeting. “It should show what you specialize in, what sets you apart, and what companies should hire you for,” Lorenzo said. “Your title appears with your profile in searches, so it should entice recruiters to click on your profile.” Doing this is sure to get you the attention of recruiters amidst a sea of ”bland, default” headlines.
Improve your LinkedIn page
“Use the ‘About’ section directly below your profile picture to highlight your skills and accomplishments, not just what you do or your current title,” Feind Reeves says.
A summary that’s not too vague (“I do cash flow magic”) and not too specific (“I’m focused on reducing days of accounts receivable by 2% to 3% each year”) can really draw attention. Her happy medium: “Corporate treasury professional adept at identifying and implementing strategies to increase cash flow.”
Lorenzo recommends using as many of the 2,600 characters as needed in the “About” section to tell a compelling first-person story about your most impressive qualifications, work values, and career path.
“The extra space and more personal tone in your profile will allow you to paint a more complete picture of who you are as a human being than on your CV, which helps show recruiters that you align with their company. “, did he declare. “And while the ‘skills’ section of your resume should be kept concise and job-specific, you should populate your LinkedIn ‘skills’ section with as many relevant skills as possible (up to a maximum of 50), as this will increase the chances of recruiters finding you in their keyword searches.
“Look for referrals now, even if you’re not actively looking for a job,” Lorenzo said. “Recommendations are a key part of your profile because they add valuable social proof. For recruiters, the only thing better than seeing proof of your skills is seeing other people verifying that proof.
The best way to get recommendations is to give them.
“Tag a few colleagues, bosses, or partners who have seen you use the skills you need for the jobs you want,” Lorenzo said. “Then write them genuine, in-depth recommendations that refer to a specific example of your time together (not just ‘Jane is a great co-worker’). Then ask them to do the same for you.
Regularly maintain your professional personality online
Your digital presence is often the first impression a hiring manager or recruiter has of you.
“Use your social media to show you’re interested, engaged, and knowledgeable about what’s going on in your industry,” Feind Reeves said. Join relevant professional groups on LinkedIn or share insightful articles related to your area of expertise on Twitter, for example.
Digital profiles are not “one-and-done”.
“Google yourself once in a while,” Feind Reeves said. “Update accomplishments, even if you’re not looking for a job. On social media, use a different name if you don’t want to be tied to your religious or political affiliations,” she said, because in today’s increasingly polarized world, even a loyalty to a publicly stated brand or your musical tastes may cause someone to form an opinion of you.
This maintenance takes a bit of time a few times a month, but “it’s an investment in itself,” Feind Reeves said.
New York Post