By Amber Alarid, JVA Consulting
These days, it’s no secret that the Internet plays a big role in the hiring process and in human resources in general. If you want to make a good impression on current or future employers, you need to not only have an appropriate Internet presence (no spring break keg stand photos allowed), but also a large professional online presence. While your resume should be kept short and specific to the job, making it easier for recruiters to skim, your Internet profile is a chance to show off more sides of yourself. Many recruiters these days Google the names of potential candidates or at least skim their social media profiles, making this a prime opportunity for you to make an impression. If you are a young professional who has not been widely published or associated with lots of relevant organizations, here are some ways that you can build a professional body of work online.
Google your name
By assessing what Internet content is already connected with your name, you can identify content you would like to get rid of and highlight information you would like employers to see. I recommend searching at least several pages of Google results, even if the posts start to seem irrelevant. Setting up a Google alert with your name can help you stay on top of content uploaded online that is connected to you.
Create social media accounts
If you do not already have a strong social media profile, I recommend creating one. Employers often check Facebook, so be sure that, even if this is a personal account, there is nothing on there you would be embarrassed for your boss or potential employer to see. If you would like to keep your Facebook personal and not post work-related content, consider creating a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn allows you to add in professional details that could not fit on your resume or that were not relevant to the position, but were nonetheless impressive. Maintain the profile, not letting it become stale. Periodically respond to discussions in the groups you belong to, offering advice and thoughtful comments that show you are up to date on current events in the sector. Add a professional photo that makes it easier for employers to recognize and remember you, especially if you have a common name that could easily get your profile confused with someone else’s.
Start a blog or actively follow a professional blog
If you are a talented writer applying for a job where your skills could contribute greatly to the organization, begin an online blog. Share helpful resources, breaking news about the sector and your general thoughts on relevant topics. This is your chance to create a number of easily accessible writing samples, show your adaptability and creativity when it comes to online trends and share your vast knowledge and professional opinion. Focus the blog on a cause or trend you are passionate about. If you feel comfortable, write letters to the editor of your local paper that may show up online.
If you are not a blogger but you do frequently read online articles and blogs, respond to the articles, establishing yourself as an expert on the topic. Share relevant links and stories, ask questions that the author or others can comment on, and present other helpful information.
As the nonprofit hiring process moves into the future, be sure you are ahead of the game, increasing your chances of being noticed in a positive way by recruiters. Explore new opportunities to increase your awareness of technological trends, build your technological skills and give your applications a boost by supplementing your resume with online resources. How do you make it easier for recruiters to find your professional work online? Please share in the comments section below.