In this “Creating a Social Media Presence Series”, we will cover a number of ways you can increase your online and social media presence. When being hired for an industry-specific job though, what employers are really looking for is expertise in their specific field. While there are many ways to accomplish this on your resume, there is one that few people explore, and that is by creating a strong online presence.
By this I do not mean social media; that is a whole other story for the remainder of the series. Although in this day and age staying connected through social media is a crucial part to progressing in most non-technical careers, it is not the only way to bolster your online persona. Believe it or not there were social channels even before Facebook and Twitter. There were site-specific chat rooms called ‘forums’ where people would debate or ask for/give help, and they are still around today. But the real question is how can you use this archaic tool to progress your job search? As it turns out, your online presence can actually land you a job.
I heard a story the other day about a friend of a friend who got a job simply by being active in an online forum. The forum was located on a home finding website and he was on the forums everyday answering people’s questions and debunking false information, and he wasn’t even an employee for the company. But after a few months of this he received a personal message from the forum administrators asking him to come in for an interview. A week later he was hired as a consultant for the company. He was hired solely because of the expertise he portrayed through his online presence.
What you should take away from this is that the internet gives us the unique opportunity to interact with employers outside of the hiring process and job interview. We do not need to have this qualification or that experience if we can get online and prove that when tossed into the industry community we can hold our own. Your online presence proves that if the employer were to hire you, you would have no problem integrating into their company.
If you are good at what you do, get people to notice by showing them. In most job interviews you have the employer assuming that everything you say you can do is true and so perhaps you embellish a little bit. But that means every other employee-hopeful is doing the same. By using the internet and an online forum as a tool to create digital proof that you are good at what you do, you can immediately jump to the front of the candidate list. If you were an employer, would you rather hire the person whose only credentials are lines on a resume, or the person who has a blog and is an active forum member within the online community of your industry? A strong online presence can, in some cases, secure a job better than a resume can.
What do you do to create a strong online presence in your job search outside of social media? Share with us in the comments sections below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Shane Pope