5 Ways Job Seekers Can Boost Their Online Reputations

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Recruiters are turning to the Internet to look for talent with exactly the right set of skills. This means that in order for you to show up on a recruiter's radar, you'll need to proactively manage what you put online.

You already know your LinkedIn profile is important, but that's not the only place you should have a digital presence. According to CareerBuilder's 2015 Social Media Recruitment Survey, 51 percent of hiring managers research candidates using search engines, and 52 percent report using social networking sites to research candidates.If you work within certain industries, these research methods are more common. Information technology, financial services, sales and professional and business services professionals should expect recruiters to look at them online.

Here are five ways you can create a better online reputation and lure your next employer:

1. Show tenure and experience. Without a doubt, hiring managers want to know you have the experience to do the job. LinkedIn is the obvious place to share your previous work experience, but don't stop there. Own your digital presence by listing your work history online, preferably on your personal website, and provide a downloadable version as well.

Want to take it a step further? Convert your LinkedIn profile into an infographic résumé, or create a slideshow of your career progression. Creativity is another quality many employers look for.

2. Show proof of work. Prove you can do the job by showing samples of your work. Your online portfolio could include samples of code you've created, analyses and summaries of data you developed, your sales awards or a list of clients you've served.

You can include links to your work samples in your LinkedIn profile, but again, don't limit the ability for recruiters to find you online. Expand your proof among code-sharing sites, and add samples to your personal website. You could also create slide decks to showcase your successes and upload them to a site like SlideShare. Posting your content on other sites can help increase the likelihood you'll show up in search results and improve your visibility.

3. Show personality. Don't overlook the power of personality. You're more likely to land an interview and ultimately a job if you look like you'll fit on the team. Hiring managers also look for someone who will be easy to manage.

Your personality comes through in everything you say and write, so be purposeful. Your LinkedIn summary is the perfect place to express yourself. Include why you've chosen your field and what motivates you to do your best work. When you add status updates to your social networks, inject some of your own thoughts when sharing an article. Video is another opportunity to show people the best of your professional self. Add a one-minute video to your online portfolio, and upload it to YouTube as well.

4. Share reviews and positive recommendations. Social proof has increasingly become an important factor for decision-making among consumers and hiring managers. It is often said that your personal brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room.

An overlooked LinkedIn feature is Recommendations, which allows you to host written recommendations from colleagues and managers on your profile. You can also capture testimonials from customers or clients and embed this information on LinkedIn and your personal website.

5. Show communication skills. Many employers say that communication skills are the most important and yet hardest to find skills. Prove you have strong written communication skills by developing a strong LinkedIn profile. Also include samples of your written work.

You can prove your solid oral communication skills by highlighting presentations you have delivered. Reference your speaking engagements on your LinkedIn profile, as status updates on social networks and on your online portfolio. If you have a video link or photo, include that as well. Validate your claim by including links to other websites referencing your work, such as professional associations, publications or event pages.


The Bottom Line:

You have to know what employers want so you can deliver the goods. In order to attract the right opportunities, you'll need to zero in on what employers say they want. Review requirements for jobs that interest you. Look for reoccurring technical skills, competencies and work styles listed in job postings. Use these skills and keywords in the content you build online. This includes your social media profiles, as well as all content you publish online. Hannah Morgan writes and speaks on career topics and job search trends on her blog Career Sherpa. She is the author of "The Infographic Résumé" and co-author of "Social Networking for Business Success."
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