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In this Internet age, it’s smart to have an online presence and there are easy – and safe – ways to do it.
One of the best sites is LinkedIn with more than 16 million users in the U.S. You can create a free professional profile where you control the content. Then your name and a link to your profile are indexed on the search engines like Google, Yahoo and others. And because it’s known as a professional networking tool – unlike online job boards – you don’t have to worry that your boss will assume you’re job searching if or when they find your profile there. EBR has prepared an easy to follow guide for new LinkedIn users. Email us at info@EBRhrexperts.com for a free copy of our LinkedIn guide and to receive our newsletter.
LinkedIn is not the only site you should employ. Create a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ that shows your accomplishments, where your strengths are, and what you can offer future employers.
Do you already have a Facebook or other social media page? Take a critical look at them. With the high costs of recruiting, training and retaining top talent – from entry level to senior executives – employers must be cautious about who they’re hiring. If a recruiter is considering two college seniors for the same position and she comes across an online profile for one of them that brags about rowdy parties and drunken escapades, she might think twice about that person – and will likely lean more toward the candidate who has a clean online profile – or none at all.
If there’s information on your personal webpage that you wouldn’t want your current or future boss to see, then change it and be choosy about who is allowed to post to your page in order to keep out questionable content. If you Google yourself and find content you don’t like but can’t delete or change, be prepared to explain if asked.
Establishing your social media isn’t just about updating your Facebook page. Most companies have a website of some kind these days. Look up and like the pages of the companies you are interested in. Many companies post their job openings on their websites, so make a habit of checking them every two or three days. Subscribe to Google Alerts so you can stay abreast of what’s happening with them and in the fields you are interested in. LinkedIn has groups you can join that focus on different career fields, find some that seem interesting to you and ask to join. And after you join, don’t just stalk around the edges of the group!
Have a plan for establishing your social media presence: Create a relevant profile, actively network with others online, become known as a resource - answer questions, offer info about other relevant sites - give 4 times more than you get. It is not appropriate to ask these group members for a job, however. If you get info about an opening, great, but don’t ask and put them on the spot.
As well as LinkedIn, we recommend Indeed because it actively pulls job postings from other sites, which can give you an even broader overview of possibilities.
Successful job searches can take a while and they are work. The time you spend creating and maintaining your social media presence will be worthwhile and will bear fruit but limit your time on the computer. Job searching requires “in person” networking in addition to having an online presence. Don’t spend so much time online that you shut yourself off from the real world.