Making My Online Presence More Attractive To Employers

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Chocolate lab that's pretty adorable.

I’d hire someone if their headline told me they liked dogs and waffles. I mean, look at this guy!

“I’m Sasha and I like dogs and waffles.”

Apparently, that was not a good headline for my LinkedIn profile. I learned this along with a lot of other information after a résumé workshop and some much-needed advice from my career adviser at Emerson.

Now, my summer goal is to devote my time to fun in the sun … and building my online presence.

***

I know this doesn’t sound as good as all-day beach parties or lounging around and watching movies, but I’ll be grateful when it helps me land the job of my dreams.

What have I learned? It’s all about your personal brand and your online influence. Here are some things I’ve done to create these that you can do as well.

Website (The Doozy)

Supposedly the centerpiece of my (and your) online presence. From picking out a host site to deciding on a color scheme, website creation is trouble for someone like me (I spent weeks just deciding what color sheets I wanted for my new bedspread).

I suggest first working out what you want to include on your website. Do you want a portfolio? Links? Testimonials? It’s difficult straddling the line between too much information and not enough. When finished, send the website to some people whose professional opinion you trust, to look it over and give you their edits. A spelling error after the website is published could be crippling.

Don’t forget to include links to your other social media on your website and add the website URL to your paper résumé.

LinkedIn

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, make one. This is social media created for the sake of professionals finding and hiring other professionals.

I already have one, so I’ve been updating my  information, seeking out recommendations, and completing the Q and A section. Also, I learned to make sure my information is professional. According to CBS News, your headline should be three paragraphs and summarize your goals and what you have to offer (they didn’t say anything about including dogs or waffles).

Facebook

I know you’ve probably heard it a hundred times, but it’s true. Employers check your Facebook. If you, like me, think of Facebook as a haven from your otherwise career-oriented life, try what I did to keep your page professional.

Create a group called “work” or something—mine is (“No Middle School Selfies”)—and edit the settings so non-friends can only see the parts of your profile you deem acceptable. Use the grandma rule. If she wouldn’t approve, your potential employer probably won’t either.

Blog (WordPress, Tumblr, Whatever)

Blogging is a great way to showcase your written communications skills, as well as position yourself as an expert in the field you’re going into. If you want to be a chef, start blogging recipes and ideas for food—potential employers can see your talent, passion, and creativity at work.

I’m showing my passion for personal finance as I blog right here!

Twitter

OK, this one’s scary. I’ve heard rumors that some employers in my future career path hire solely based on the quality of your Twitter account. Considering that mine is in need of some serious TLC (if anyone reading this could follow me, that would be wonderful), I don’t like this prospect at all.

Though Twitter won’t make or break all job candidates, employers may use it to screen potential employees. Twitter proves that you can communicate succinctly, keep up to date with information in your field, and have influence over and generate interest in others.

First thing to do on Twitter is delete inappropriate or stupid tweets. Yes, I said stupid. I’m sure many of you (myself included) have a tweet about something no one cares about. “He’s so perfect” or “Eating” are not tweets. Next, clean up your list of whom you’re following and try to get more people to follow you. Sometimes a simple message on Facebook “follow me @____” helps.

Other

Pinterest and other visually based social media sites like Instagram are important for people going into a visually based career. But if you want to be an actuary or a lawyer, you probably don’t need either.

Pick your “other” social media sites based on the qualities needed for the job you want. I’m trying to coax myself into cutting down on the sites I don’t need, but it’s a painful addiction.

How have you improved your social media presence lately? Tell us in the comments!

(Photo: 23am.com)

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