When many people think of creating an online presence their mind automatically goes to creating a Facebook or LinkedIn page. Although social media can be a beneficial addition to your job search, it is also important to use other outlets to expand your reach. Whether it is creating a personal website or ensuring that employers are able to look at your complete employment history, using online components can simplify your job search and make it easier for recruiters to find you.
Online and Offline Components
It is important that what you present online and what you present in person are the same. Resumes have a certain amount of available space to fill with information. With an online version, it may be possible to extend the document to more than a standard page. Your print resume, which should not be longer than a page, can be tailored to a specific position. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position the resume you present should touch on your experience relevant to that position. If you have an excess amount of non-relevant experience, have the information readily available on your LinkedIn profile with a link to the page on your resume. This way, you are presenting the employer with the relevant experience first and if they want to know more about you everything is readily available to look through.
Central Hub/ Official Website
An easier and more creative way to develop an online presence is to create a simple online “landing page” for recruiters to access with links to all your various social networking websites and webpages. Free websites such as about.me and flavors.me allow you to create and edit websites that contain all of your social media channels and any additional information you would like to have. The benefit of using these channels is that they are both free and require no HTML or web design experience to manage. In the simplest terms, your personal website should act as an RSS feed for yourself. Blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and any other relevant websites you may be a part of should be linked to your personal website. Recruiters don’t want to sit and type in every single social media URL you have, it is best to just provide them with a simple link that they can click through for all your information.
This may be more along the lines of creative careers, but visual-based resumes are becoming more popular. Whether you create an infographic or chart chronicling your employment experience and skills, it is best if they are accessible online in addition to paper versions. The reason for this is to ensure that all the colors and graphical quality are seen in their best representation on a computer screen. Depending on the employer (or your own) printer, quality may be lost which could look bad on your part especially if you are applying for a position in advertising or graphic design.
A simple Google search can reveal the content you post on social media, so it may be wise to just provide the links to the recruiters, especially if you are applying for a position in either marketing or communications. Social media is the double-edged sword where you are made to believe that what you post is private, but it actually isn’t. The best advice would be to either keep your social media channels clean enough that if an employer finds them and searches through them, they won’t be discouraged from hiring you or to just not have them at all. It may be heartbreaking to close your Facebook, but one misplaced photo from South Beach could make or break your job search.
It is possible to begin your job search without a proper online presence, but it will make you look a little dated. For careers in communications it may be expected to have personal websites and social media channels versus those looking for careers in the field of law and medicine. The benefit of the Internet and technology is that you can create and delete what you feel is and is not relevant to your job search. When deciding on what you feel you need, put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter and think of the best way to search for and obtain information on multiple candidates.