Today’s job market is hugely competitive. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a positive online presence. Putting yourself out there can help you raise your profile with employers and may open many doors. In today’s post I share with you how to be active online.
Sign up to social media platforms
Signing up to a variety of social media platforms will increase your chances of getting noticed, it will also give you the opportunity to follow companies and people of interest.
When creating your profile, be thoughtful and professional
Include a professional-sounding bio and professional-looking profile picture. This will make it easier for you to be discovered by potential employers. Try to avoid random images, such as party or holiday photos. They could give employers a wrong impression about you.
Limit the information on your profile to what’s potentially helpful. For instance, include your degree and work experience, but avoid posting too many personal details. That’s what I’ve done in my profiles, too.
Be an active community member
Once you have a social media account, make sure to post regularly. When interacting with other members, avoid inappropriate comments as again they could give out the wrong impression about you. Follow the companies you’re interested in, and interact with their content, such as by sharing and commenting.
The way I do it is, I post on social media almost daily, except Sundays. As I run a website, I look out for important news to write an article on and share. This way my website stays current and interesting to follow.
Remember, employers are watching…
I can’t stress how important it is to remember that everything you post can be seen by potential employers. The information they find about you online could affect their decision whether or not to hire you.
For example, everyone has a couple of drinks every now and then, but would you really want images of you drinking being published on social networks? Try to present yourself as a professional person: A glass of wine with colleagues is usually not a problem but keep the ‘Here’s me drunk’ pictures off your timeline.
Who you like or follow does also matter
By following businesses in the area of your interest, or even businesses that you’ve applied to, you could improve your prospects of being hired. The accounts you follow prove you’re engaged with the field and are really interested. For example, as I study journalism and would like a career in the field, I naturally follow news and media organisations.
One thing to avoid is following accounts that may be offensive to others or give out a negative image of you (for example pages or personalities that post racist, homophobic, misogynist , or drug- / alcohol-related content).
Starting a blog is easy and can help a lot
You should consider starting a blog or running your own website to further prove your interest in a specific area. You can also use your own blog or website to show your personality and professional conduct. Employers will appreciate your sense of creativity and motivation, they will see you’re a hard-working person. All this could improve your chances of being accepted by a business or company.
Define what your blog is about
Be specific about what your blog / website are about. Pick the main topic(s) or theme(s) and stick to them. This way your audience, which in time may include potential employers, will know what they can expect from your content. Don’t forget to follow professional pages to drive attention to your blog / site.
For my website (see screenshot), I blog about news stories and have focused the website on sharing what happens in and around the world. I post about general everyday news but also interesting subjects to attract my audience.
Don’t neglect the important bit: Sharing your content
Don’t forget to share everything through social media: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram. The more views, the more people will have a look at what you do, and this will attract the attention of your professional environment.
As long as I’ve had my website, I have always shared all my articles and videos via Facebook or Twitter. This way I get people to comment on my work, I can continue to improve and professionals from my target field might start noticing me.
This image sums up what we want to avoid at all cost when we apply for a job: Being rejected. Your job application may be put in the ‘no pile’ because the employer can’t see that you have what it takes for the job. But competition out there is tough and if another candidate has a better, more positive and active online presence, they may be chosen over you.
Having a positive online presence can offer great rewards – make sure you take advantage of the opportunities available to you.