Branding is a big buzzword today. Most people know and understand that companies should be focusing on their branding (both to consumers and potential employees). But when it comes to your job search, your personal online brand is an essential component. If you haven’t given much thought to your online brand, you’re not alone. Now is the time, though, to get started.
Taking control of your online brand.
Here are the first steps to take when building and maximizing your online brand:
1. Be aware of how you’re perceived
Even if you haven’t actively built your online brand, you have one. And social media is your elevator pitch – you have 10 seconds to “sell” that recruiter on who you are and what you bring to the table. From Foursquare check-ins to Instagram photos and tweets, recruiters are researching you online, and there is plenty to see for most of us! So before you get started actively managing and maximizing your online brand, see how you’re already being perceived. Understand what is out there about you, and how that could be affecting recruiters and employers when you apply for a job.
2. Understand how recruiters will find you
An old-fashioned Google search is certainly one common way for recruiters to research your online brand. But there are also tools that companies use to screen and find candidates based on who’s commenting on certain blogs, who are commenting on technologies, who like certain technologies on their profiles. That’s why a well-rounded online presence is essential – there are many ways beyond Google that recruiters will search for candidates – and you want to be found!
3. Get started
You know how you’re currently perceived, you understand how recruiters can find you – now it’s time to get out there and start actively building, monitoring and maximizing your online brand.
a. Forums and blogs – Register for forums that are relevant to your areas of expertise, bookmark or subscribe to blogs that are also relevant (and are interesting – it’s of no use to comment on boring blogs that no one wants to read!).
b. Get social – Set up your professional profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Github, to name a few.
c. Create a website – You should also consider setting up a personal website. For many IT professionals, websites have become an extension of (or has in some cases replaced) their resumes. Show off your coding skills with a functional, modern website – I liken it to a graphic designer’s portfolio. Your website is a tangible representation of your skills – just be sure that it is concise and well-written! Try a simple service like Carrd!
4. Be active.
There is one important tip that I’ll share with you to build an impressive online brand – be active. Setting up profiles helps ensure you “reserve” spaces for your name on popular sites, but unless you are active on those sites, you are wasting precious opportunity to impress recruiters. So, rather than registering for 10 forums and subscribing to 10 blogs, choose three or four and monitor them closely. Post new threads and comment on active ones. Comment and ask questions or offer insights on blog posts. And update your social profiles with links and insights relevant to your areas of expertise. Every day posting is great, but once or twice a week is a minimum for online activity – here is where the real maximizing comes into play. The more you post, the easier it will be for recruiters to find you. There you have it, an insider’s guide to maximizing your online brand for career success. It doesn’t have to monopolize your time or cost you a fortune, but investing in building and maximizing your online brand can have a tremendous impact on your IT career. What else have you done to maximize your online brand? Have any particular sites or tactics worked well for you? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Speak with a technical recruiter on our team to get tips!