With the Internet at our fingertips, the world has never seemed smaller. With the click of a button we can connect to anyone, anywhere in the world. Through technology, the amount of people we can contact is virtually endless.
It’s no secret that a strong network can be a huge asset to your career journey. Whether it’s friends, family, or current or former co-workers or supervisors, the more connections you have, the better. In the event you decide it’s time for a career change, or to reinvent yourself, a rolodex full of professional contacts could become your primary resource.
But that’s just the beginning. Take that valued list of names and spread it across the ever-expanding online landscape, and your networking capabilities have no limit. However, the overused cliché, “with great privilege comes great responsibility,” is a necessary mantra job seekers must keep in their back pocket to successfully navigate the online landscape. When building an online presence, it’s not just those unseemly college photos you need to be aware of.
Rule number one of professional branding is consistency. That means you must make sure each and every component of your marketing strategy aligns, from your snazzy LinkedIn profile and resume right down to your 60-second pitch during an interview setting. The way you represent yourself should be seamless and devoid of any inconsistencies, which employers view as major red flags.
With that being said, where do you start to tell the world about the new you? Here are the top four places to begin to truly leverage your network:
Chances are most of your professional acquaintances have a LinkedIn page. Connect with them! LinkedIn may not be as “fun” as other mainstream social networking sites, but it’s perfect for knowledge sharing, professional development, and to introduce yourself to employers and recruiters you’re interested in.
If your life is fast-paced and you need your information quickly, create a Twitter account today. Not only can you follow those same people in your network who are on Twitter, but you can connect with companies and thought leaders in your field or industry. Plus employers constantly tweet out open positions and use Twitter to recruit.
With a staggering 1 billion registered users around the world, Facebook is a networking goldmine. What was once a platform mainly for sharing news and posting photos, companies now use the megasite for profiling job candidates and direct recruiting. Be sure you’re here, and be sure your profile is fit to be viewed by anyone.
Consider this your opportunity for your own personal website. Above and beyond posting and sharing your personal thoughts and sharing information, your own blog is the ideal space to present your resume to the world, along with links to the social profiles we mention above. But an effective blog is only as good as the content showcased on it – so while an amazing networking tool, it requires a serious commitment.
The careers and employment world has changed drastically with technology, including the way we hunt for jobs. Show employers and colleagues that you are progressive by not only reinventing yourself, but also by being consistent online.
It’s time to start acting like a business owner. Have you started on your job search plan? Complete with resume / cover letter guides and useful checklists, our free Job Search Toolkit will help you get your career off the ground and track your progress.