Online Reputation Management
Yes the job market is more competitive than ever. But there are also more tools available than ever before to differentiate you in the marketplace, to promote your subject matter expertise, and to build your personal brand.
Taken together, these form the basic building blocks of Online Reputation Management. Online Reputation Management is more than damage control, more than spin doctors. Online Reputation Management is a proactive approach to managing how you appear on the internet - in effect, it's being your own PR department (see: http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/01/online-reputation-management-4-steps-to.html).
When managed correctly, your online reputation builds an inbound pipeline of opportunities and networking requests, of people and businesses that want your help. This may bring opportunities to leverage into a full time job, consulting projects, side jobs, or connections.
You know that friend of yours who "got lucky" and a great job happened to fall into their lap? That's not luck: it's the result of enough "right" people knowing your friend. Online Reputation Management can magnify the number of people who see your work and connect to you. Here are the major ways to manage your online reputation:
- Google: Do you know what a Google search on you turns up? Does it even turn up information on you, or on someone else? A few weeks ago, I profiled a woman who was having job search problems - she had no idea that she shared her name with an adult model who owned page 1 of Google. If you aren't managing your online reputation on Google, then someone else is (see: http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-does-google-affect-your-job-search.html).
- Linkedin: The second step in building your online reputation is Linkedin. Linkedin is an ideal tool to start your online reputation and it has features especially valuable for job seekers. It's not enough just to have an "empty" profile on Linkedin with few connections: such a minimal presence won't do much for you. To jumpstart your Linkedin presence, see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/02/job-seekers-20-ways-to-brand-yourself_25.html).
- Facebook: Facebook is no longer a game and it's no longer for kids - there are more grandparents than students on Facebook today. Facebook is a business engine, surpassing Google for usage in the US. Facebook plan is to be the new search and for the past year and a half Facebook has been the top site to search ... for people. If you are in job search (passive or active candidates both), you need to be on Facebook. Recruiters and hiring companies now search Google, Linkedin, and Facebook first before using job boards - because job boards are expensive and typically don't include passive candidates. Facebook is a critical part of your Online Reputation, because it tells readers who you are. Review this post to see how to use Facebook proactively, beyond just scrubbing your profile http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/02/job-seekers-20-ways-to-brand-yourself.html.
- Twitter: Twitter also shouldn't be discounted, as Twitter's stream is now included in all major search engine results. Twitter is a great way to find thought leaders and establish your own thought leadership, connect with industry people, and research. For a quick primer on using Twitter to leverage your online brand see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/03/job-seekers-20-ways-to-brand-yourself.html.
- Online Portfolios: Why not go beyond just putting up an online resume, or just a video resume. To show prospective employers what a great job you do, why not include work samples in an online portfolio? Online portfolios can be simple to create, and can be used for more than just artists and writers. Wouldn't you like to share samples of financial reports you've designed (black out proprietary information that you probably shouldn't share online), Powerpoints, written reports, sales presentations, code samples, or side projects with potential employers? See http://recareered.blogspot.com/2008/06/how-online-portfolios-put-you-at-top-of.html or a simple tutorial on how to set up an online portfolio.
- Blogs: Promote subject matter expertise by building a blog. It doesn't have to be a fancy design (mine isn't), it doesn't have to cost you a dime, you can DIY, and you really don't even have to be a writer. If you choose not to write yourself, publish publicly available work in your subject matter expertise, maybe adding short commentary to the articles you post. Google loves blogs, and they are one of the best ways to move up to a first page Google search ranking if you have a common name. You'll see more detailed information on blogging in the coming days, but here's a basic guide to blogging to help your job search http://recareered.blogspot.com/2008/05/you-dont-have-to-be-shakespeare-to.html.
( Continued ... Demonstrate Employer Value )
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