Your online presence, or lack of it, matters in senior-level executive job search.
It matters for most every job seeker, at any level.
Given two equal candidates, in terms of skill sets, education, work history, and all around good fit for the job, recruiters and hiring professionals are likely to choose the person with the more vibrant, far-reaching online footprint.
Why is this?
→ They want to know that potential leaders of their organizations are savvy with social media and technology.
→ They want to see social proof of all the claims you’ve made in your career marketing materials. The content you post to your LinkedIn profile, for instance, is likely to be truthful. They’ll compare this to the resume you’ve sent them.
→ They want to quickly and easily find relevant, supporting information about you online, to help them determine whether to interview you.
→ Many other top-level executives have solid online presence. You need to do the same, just to keep pace with them.
→ Your social media footprint provides them insight into your passions, interests, thought leadership, communication skill, potential culture-fit, and other valuable information, that fills out the resume you may have sent them.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when managing your online presence while building your personal brand online:
When recruiters and hiring managers source top talent to fulfill their needs, they go right to LinkedIn and Google, and search relevant keywords and phrases. If your content online doesn’t contain the right keywords in the right places, you may not be found by the people who can lead you to a good-fit job.
2. Diverse Content
A few online profiles that all contain the same content won’t cut it – change up the information in each one. And, although static online profiles (like LinkedIn and Google+) and other web pages are very important – especially for being found (see #1 above) – they’re not enough. You need to add vibrant real-time content to the mix.
- Express your opinions, showcase your expertise and add value by blogging on your own site, commenting on other blogs and/or guest blogging on other sites.
- Get busy on social networks like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.
- Contribute to online forums that are open to the public, LinkedIn Group discussions, and LinkedIn Answers.
- Publish white papers on relevant sites.
- Put up a profile and post book reviews on Amazon and other online booksellers.
Make no mistake, when you’re being considered as a candidate, your name will be Googled. You need to be diligent about monitoring search results for “your name” so you’ll know what people are finding about you online.
Do you own the #1 search result, or at least some of the results on the first page? Has some digital dirt wormed its way in? Can you fix it by taking down the information, or asking the poster to take it down?
Keep adding new content to new web pages, refreshing static profiles to align with your changing career needs, and posting real-time content on social media. The more relevant information found about you online, the more your social proof and credibility as a candidate rise.
Given the fragile state of employment today, you could suddenly find yourself in job search. If you’ve done nothing while you were employed to build your online presence, you’ll have a hard time catching up with your competitors who knew enough to keep at it all along.
It takes time for the content you post online to gain traction in search engines. Don’t wait until you’re hit with a layoff to post some slapdash content online. Savvy executives know that jobs are no longer permanent and a strong online presence is no longer optional. They keep working on their online presence, even while they’re employed.
photo by pshutterbug