How to Get Noticed Online By Recruiters for All the Right Reasons
Keep up digital appearances to get noticed by recruiters online
Our technological age has ushered in many advances that have dramatically changed the way we live and do business.
And, this is especially true when it comes to job seeking. It used to be that you’d scour the Sunday newspaper classified ads waiting to find that perfect opportunity; mail in your resume; and wait for a call.
Nowadays, technology has changed all that. Electronic communication has opened up more ways for job seekers and recruiters to connect; it also opens up opportunity for missteps if you’re not careful.
So, if you’re a job seeker in today’s technology era, how can you make sure you’re noticed by recruiters for all the right reasons? Here are a few tips:
1. This rule still applies: polish, polish, polish your resume.
Even today, there is still nothing as important to the job search as your resume. A few tips:
- For a nominal fee, it is often worth hiring a resume expert. Have them review your resume and provide feedback and recommendations for improvement before you “go live” with it.
- Make sure your resume is clean, focused and free of typos and embarrassing errors. (This is especially true if you plan to post your resume online, where it will live on forever.)
- Be truthful. Electronic communications can potentially be discovered and uncovered any time. Think of the public figures who have embellished details on their resume, only to be caught later and face embarrassing consequences.
- Keep it short. This is not a dissertation on everything you’ve ever done in your life. (In fact, doing this makes you look like you’re either an egomaniac or you’re trying too hard.) Keep your resume short (2-3 pages max), focused and tailored to the specific opportunity you’re seeking.
- Be prepared to tailor your resume as you go. A good resume is not “one and done.” Rather, it’s tailored and modified for each unique employment opportunity. It also needs to be flexible to accommodate online databases and submission forms increasingly used by recruiters and employers
2. Make the strongest possible “links” on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is second in importance only to the resume. According to a study last year published by U.S. News & World Report, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source and vet candidates, yet only 36% of job seekers are active on the site. Get on LinkedIn, and you already have a competitive edge.
Here’s how to make your LinkedIn profile work for you:
- Don’t just copy and paste your resume into your profile. Use it as a starting point, but really address each section of your profile strategically.
- Throughout your profile, use keywords focused on your profession and your region (such as “marketing communications expert in D.C.”). This helps recruiters find you when they’re searching for candidates.
- To determine keywords to use, view job postings and incorporate some of the same words and terms into your profile. For example, if a senior marketing role requires “excellent customer service skills,” then use those words in your online profile.
- Show, don’t tell. Don’t just say that you were the marketing manager in your last job; show the results you delivered. When possible, use statistics, data and numbers to support your actions.
3. Audit your online presence (and then lock it down).
Before you dive into your job search in earnest, enlist a few trusted friends and do a comprehensive online search of your name, using varied names and terms, to see what pops up.
If you need to do some cleaning up:
- Lock down your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to the most secure privacy settings. You don’t want a potential employer seeing your college drinking photos or that vacation bikini shot and ruling you out because of your age, free-time antics (or perceived lack of judgment).
- Consider establishing social media accounts for professional use only. These can stay open to the public and should focus primarily on your professional background. Just remember to avoid posting commentary that can be perceived as controversial, tone deaf or otherwise offensive.
4. Present yourself in a positive light
You’d be amazed what your e-mail address says about you—and how that can affect your job prospects. Individuals with legacy Juno and AOL accounts are perceived as being “out of date.” If you aren’t up on current technology or have experience working in multiple platforms, you’ll be passed over.
Here’s how you can overcome it:
- Create an e-mail account for job seeking purposes only (ideally in Gmail or a similar e-mail platform). Keep your user name professional, such as “John-Doe@gmail.com” or “JaneDoeMarketer@gmail.com.”
- If you’re lacking in technical experience, take a class, read up or brush up on your skills. If you aren’t sure, ask a trusted friend or colleague who works in the field to give you some suggestions.
By following these simple steps, you’ll position yourself on a professional and impressive foundation, no matter where you are, and make yourself stand out from the online crowd for all the right reasons.
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