While recently sitting in a seminar on social networking, it occurred to me that job seekers have a tool today that didn’t exist a few years ago; Social Networking. With so many opportunities out there to increase your online presence, it’s crucial to make sure that your online presence is consistent.
Let’s face it, employers know about these tools and regularly use them to research candidates as part of the reference check. If you’re on LinkedIn and have a professional presence but have information about you on your Facebook profile that contradicts the professional presence you established on LinkedIn, employers may question your character.
So as to ensure a consistent social presence, try applying these tips:
CHECK YOUR PROFILE ON EACH SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE Ensure you’re sending the same message about yourself by reviewing your profile and sharing the same information.
SET GOOGLE ALERTS ABOUT YOURSELF This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make monitor yourself online. This way if someone else posts something about you, you’ll receive an alert and can take action quickly.
CHECK WHO YOU “FOLLOW” If you’re on Twitter, who are you following and who is following you? Check to see if you’re following industry experts relative to your field so it will be evident that you stay “in the know.” Also, are others who are considered industry experts following you?
CONTRIBUTE TO GROUP DISCUSSIONS What kind of information or questions are you posting into various groups? LinkedIn and other web sites offer the opportunity for you to be in groups where you can ask and respond to questions. Build up your professional profile by asking relevant questions and providing helpful responses to questions that others post.
AVOID THE DESPERATION MOVE I can’t tell you how many posts I have seen that say Professional (fill in job title) seeking job in (fill in area). Are there any jobs left out there and why won’t anyone hire me? I’m not sure if people who do this just don’t know any better, think they’re being funny, or are really that desperate. Let’s face it, whining doesn’t work for most people or in the work place, so avoid making a total desperation move like that. It’s ok to post your credentials and to alert your followers that you are actively seeking work, just be professional about it.
FOLLOWING THESE SIMPLE STRATEGIES will help you maintain a solid and consistent web 2.0 presence. If you don’t have an online presence there are many ways to go about creating one, but that’s another article.