Are you making the most of all the exciting online ways to shout about your skills and experience? Are you managing to establish a captivating cyberspace presence despite the pressure of exams, deadlines, work, sport, volunteering, and a busy social life? No easy task, but investing time now means you will start making ripples in recruiters’ pools. You will acquire a genuine insight into all you have to offer and find you’re ready to talk with confidence about who you are and what you want.
Make the internet your stage
Online recruitment is taking off and there are opportunities to use much more than your CV to evidence your work experience, activities and achievements. Why not link to blogs, presentations, videos, articles, photographs and collections of work?
Employers are using the internet to gain a more three dimensional view of candidates. How about providing additional evidence to strengthen your profile? You can demonstrate the skills, abilities, attitude and approach you’d bring to the workplace and create a striking and lasting impression of the kind of employee you’d be.
Manage your profile
Adopt a ‘collect and reflect’ strategy of recording your personal achievements as and when they happen. What is the value of your experiences? Which skills did you use or develop? What did you learn? Can you evaluate what went well and what didn’t? When you learn to reflect you’ll be able to talk about your experience persuasively with authority and insight.
Standing out isn’t about swagger or being an extrovert, it’s about knowing yourself and learning to see yourself through somebody else’s eyes. This comes through steady, regular self-analysis. Talking with insight goes a lot further than bravado!
Consider using different platforms to promote yourself. Play to your strengths and stay passionate about what interests you.
More and more employers and agencies are searching online for suitable applicants, if you don’t have an online presence you may be missing out on opportunities. However, it’s all about what you choose to share, and who you share with. Select which platforms to use personally and professionally and don’t mix them up! Of course you want to have fun with your friends at the weekend but don’t let a judgmental stranger poke through your profile. Either ensure all your privacy settings are in place or keep things tidy, use different names for your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.
Make sure that everything on social media that can be seen by a potential employer is going to help you to get employed. You wouldn’t engage in banter, use bad language, or talk about your drunken exploits in a job interview. It’s the same for social media, think about what you’re sharing, and what it says about you.
Recruiters are using social media as a rich resource for finding potential candidates. Social media profiles open up a wide range of possibilities, as do blogs and online communities.
Vala Afshar from Enterasys Networks who recruited and hired a Director of Marketing through Twitter explains:
”Mobile and social is not about technology, it’s about a lifestyle…and the very best talent who are hyperconnected and social are going to look for companies that intersect their interest on social networks. You go where the conversation is.”
3Sourcing describe themselves as:
“A search engine for people, changing the way people find talent.”
“…constantly watching the social networks, blogs and forums, sniffing out clues to find both active and passive candidates wherever they are.”
Laurel Lindsay founder of the New Media Group writes unique job descriptions and titles and uses social media to publicise opportunities. She found a WordPress Whisperer on Twitter, a Graphic Designer on Instagram, and an Office” Ninja” on Facebook!
People Aggregators facilitate social recruitment by searching the internet for all profiles linked to a person. They present a comprehensive picture for companies to follow up and approach.
Professional networking websites are becoming part of many people’s lives. You know about LinkedIn but what about global sites Viadeo/Tianji and Xing? There are sector specific platforms like StackOverflow for programmers, GitHub for software development and Dribble for designers to showcase their work. You can create successful pages, promotions and portfolios on an array of versatile platforms including Spotify, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Google+.
Start while you are at uni, you should find that internal ePortfolios (like Mahara) are supported there. You can blog, save pictures, videos and links, or upload documents, create pages and collections and set up your CV and Profile.
Bring it all together
So, start today! Start recording, writing, filming. Compile your own unique collection of experiences and achievements and share it selectively. Understand everything you have to offer, and see all that you’ve learnt along the way. If you’re not online, you’re not in the game.
The internet is telling your story – so make it one you’re proud of.