I often browse LinkedIn, connecting with people in the industry or reaching out to my clients to stay in touch. If I don’t see someone I know on LinkedIn, and I go to ask them why they don’t have a profile, I always seem to get a similar response: “Oh, I’ll set one up later. I don’t need one right now, so there’s no point.”
Well my friend, you are wrong there. You do need to establish an online presence now, and there is a point to it. A LinkedIn profile is not something you can build up overnight. Sure, the physical page can be created quickly, but the connections, blog posts, and group affiliations take time to establish.
In today’s interconnected society, putting yourself on the Web and positioning yourself as an established professional creates endless opportunities.
If you create a strong online presence now, you’ll be ensuring that you’re ready for a new job when the time is right.
If you start your LinkedIn profile today, you might see a friend post about an upcoming job opportunity that you may have otherwise missed. You may get the chance to connect with someone very powerful in your industry because it just so happens that you have a mutual connection!
Similarly, recruiters don’t only use the Internet to search for new candidates. They often use social media to look up candidates who are already in the running for a job.
If you create a strong online presence now, you’ll be ensuring that, when the time for a new job does come, you’re ready for it.
How Do I Start?
Of course, setting up a LinkedIn profile is a great way to start building your online presence, but there’s much more to be done.
Post your resume to some job boards, such as Recruiter.com, Indeed, Monster, and so on. Do a little bit of research to see if there are any job boards that are specific to your industry or preferred line of work. This will help you market yourself to the right audience of recruiters and professionals.
By posting your resume online, you are adding yourself to the pool of readily available candidates from which recruiters draw all the time. Often, recruiters and hiring managers will search candidate profiles through keyword searches to find the right fit for their roles, so if your resume is not posted, you are closing yourself off from a stream of potential connections and job opportunities.
An Inside Tip –
Don’t post your resume and then forget about it! You want to show others that you are proactively searching for a job – and that you are someone that they want to hire.
Make sure you update your information every two weeks to a month. If you don’t have new information to add, simply retype some of your old information, as doing so will show that you have been active on your profile. Something as small as deleting a sentence and retyping it will require you to save your work, and this will pop up as new activity on your profile.
Continual activity on your profile or resume will show recruiters and hiring managers that you are a proactive job seeker who is very eager to get a position.
If you just post your resume once and leave it to stagnate, recruiters and hiring managers may not be terrible interested in you. They make think you’ve dropped out of the job hunt, or that you aren’t very passionate about landing a new role. Why would they put effort into reaching out to a candidate who seems totally disengaged already?
The Bottom Line
It might seem like a lot of work, but building your online presence is too important to wait on. Do yourself a favor and take some time to establish yourself in a professional manner online. Post a professional profile picture, share your resume, connect with some friends, join some groups, and if you’re really ambitious, write a post or two!
As a precautionary move, you may also want to take down any inappropriate pictures/posts from your other, non-professional social media outlets. If you don’t want a future boss to see it, it probably should not be up on the Internet.