It won’t be long before Google has the first say to every employer that anyone is a good job candidate. It’s hard to wrap your head around that one, huh? Well it’s true.
There are almost a billion people on earth who have Facebook profiles. There are nearly 100 million on Linked In, and 100+ million on Twitter and Google Plus. Although there are many vacated and incomplete profiles, there are job seekers who are using their accounts for social or professional reasons daily. Are you where employers are lurking? Google knows this but can’t offer a job seeker as a suggestion if he or she is not online.
You want your favorite restaurant, grocery store, clothing store, cosmetic shop, and yes, entertainment to have an online presence for your convenience. If someone shares their favorite place to shop, you ask if they have a website, do you? I do. Most of us do. Employers might miss a perfect fit because you lack a social profile. Here are 6 reasons to have an online presence during your job search:
1) You are a business whether you like it or not and you need to own your online presence
Asking someone to employ you is a business conversation and transaction. To successfully sell yourself, you have to offer people a compelling reason. Not having an online presence may undermine your job search efforts. These days, as a business, you won’t compete with others who have carefully crafted an online reputation if you lack one.
2) You’re hiring your next employer
I agree with Leigh Branham, the author of The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave. In my interview with him last December, he stated that job seekers should hire his or her employer. Wouldn’t you want employers to ask you if you were hiring them? That can happen with an online presence.
Last summer I was talking with a college about a particular project that I initially wanted but decided against. When I went to the meeting I had this presentation prepared but the meeting started with them pitching me! The woman whoI met with said, “We think that you will have a highly successful firm!” I think she sees that because they read my blog, articles that I’ve written for career sites, and features about me on other web publications. My reputation positively proceeds me. What are you doing to earn trust that you will deliver what an employer needs.
4) Build relationships
Trust continually forges relationships at times before meeting people in person. Your online presence can demonstrate proof of your knowledge, skills, and abilities (aka KSA’s). People may need to read or touch your online profiles several times before trusting or contacting you but it is there for engagement. Does an online reputationvalidate your KSA’s? No. Will an online reputation guarantee opportunities? No. But it will guarantee additional exposure for business or employment.
5) Third party validation
It is one thing for you to just tell all of your most valuable attributes, but it is impressive that others evangelize about you. When you use tools like Linked In, Google Plus, and a blog you can control the perception and the proof of your abilities. Choosing two of out three suggested is tough and I would say all three are effective in controlling your online reputation. For sure, take time to create a Linked In page that is dynamic and persuasive. Recommendations from customers, coworkers, or collaborators are the best form of validating talent that recruiters, employers, or contacts can find.
6) Give employers a vivid visual putting it in their hands immediately
When Joe Pesci guest hosted on Saturday Night Live some years ago, there was a skit that involved his character purchasing a pinky ring. While trying it on, he put himself in front of the mirror and started acting as if he was having a conversation with another person with the pinky ring on. A blog or a Linked In profile showcases proof and puts it in an employer’s hand. They have an opportunity to try your experience for size and imagine how you’d look in the position.