A paper resume is still standard when you’re searching for a job, but it isn’t always enough.
Social media is becoming a consistent part of our everyday lives; use it to your advantage in your job search.
Developing a personal brand, both on paper and online, will help you stand out among other candidates.
LinkedIn is an obvious place to start, but make sure you have a well-rounded online presence that shows potential employers why you’re the best candidate.
Search your name on Google and see what comes up.
Typically, if you have a LinkedIn account, that will be one of the first results that shows up. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, create one and keep it up-to-date as your career grows. If you have an online portfolio or website, these should also come up as search results for your name.
Don’t settle for an average LinkedIn profile, add media whenever possible to showcase your skills and provide potential employers with concrete examples of your value as a candidate.
While you want to be professional on LinkedIn, you should also try to inject some personality into your profile that will help you stand out and gives potential employers a taste of who you really are.
Here are more tips to build a powerful LinkedIn profile:
- Start with a professional photo where you are dressed nicely. Show your shoulders and full face in the picture, and use a neutral background.
- Make your headline stand out. LinkedIn automatically fills in your headline with your current job title, but you should customize it to be your specialty. Speak directly to your target audience in your headline.
- Fill out your summary section with 5-6 of your biggest achievements. The first two lines should be the most powerful, since they are visible before a viewer has to click to “read more”. Consider adding media files in your summary that highlight your specialty and achievements.
- Add images or documents to your experience to create a visual portfolio along with your standard resume information. Use media that shows your value in the workplace.
- Build a well-rounded profile that showcases more than your job titles. Include skills, volunteer experience, continuing education courses, etc.
- Update your profile to have a custom URL that is shorter and unique to you: http://bit.ly/CustomURLonLI
- Ask colleagues and others to endorse you for skills they have seen you perform.
- Ask for and give recommendations. Endorsements are great, but recommendations are even better. Reach out to current/past colleagues, managers, and people you’ve done business with to ask if they will write you a recommendation. Consider returning the favour and writing them a recommendation.
- Use status updates to share industry-relevant content to show your audience that you are focused and in-the-know for your industry.
- Write blog posts to showcase your knowledge, interest, and talent.
LinkedIn is only one piece of your personal brand puzzle, continue to develop your brand online and engage with thought leaders in your industry on other social media sites.
More and more employers are going online to find information about candidates. Embrace this as an opportunity for you to stand out and create a personal brand you can be proud of.