After an extensive application process and a grueling interview, the potential employer has narrowed down the choice from a dozen original applicants to you and two other finalists. All three of you are qualified for the job and would make a good fit for the company. How does the employer choose between you and the other finalists?
The Power of Your Internet Presence
He probably does exactly what you do when you need more information. The employer probably conducts an online search for your name. When deciding between someone with no available information online, someone with a plethora of questionable party photos on Facebook and someone with an informative blog and evidence of professional contacts, employers will go with the last choice. That’s why your presence on the Internet makes a difference. You can start constructing a respectable reputation long before you are searching for jobs. A good time to start is when you are in an online learning program with the goal of graduating and finding a new job within a few months or years.
Increasing Your Presence
These are a few ways to make your mark.
- Blogs: Blogs are easy to start, and you can talk about whatever you want. A blog on topics within your career field can show an employer your commitment to a long-term project, your ability to write well and your expertise in the subject.
- Twitter: This social networking platform can have more serious applications than keeping up with your friends and favorite celebrities. You can gather followers who may become colleagues by tweeting regularly about current events in your field. When people contact you, answer them publicly or by using private messages to expand your contact list.
- LinkedIn: Professional networking is designed to help you meet people in your field and let them know what you skills have to offer. Be selective when adding people to your network so that your network consists of people and companies relevant to your expertise. Spend some time making your profile complete and current.
These are a few additional tips to make sure that your presence on the Internet has a positive influence on your career.
- Put yourself in your potential employer’s shoes by conducting a Google search on yourself. Check to make sure that all of your information is current and positive. Carefully click on each link that comes up and search for anything that could be incriminating.
- Keep your privacy settings high whenever you surf the net to prevent information-sharing that you are not aware of. Disable tracking cookies before logging on to public Wi-Fi. Also, always log out of sites when you are finished using them so that your browsing history is not traced.
- Assume that your potential employer will see anything that you put online, and act accordingly. Treat the Internet as part of your office, and use your professional demeanor.
- As important as your Internet presence may be, don’t overdo it. You don’t need an employer to be wondering whether you’ll be more dedicated to the company or to your virtual empire.
You put in a lot of effort and time into going to school and working toward the potential of better job prospects in the future. Your Internet presence can be the deciding factor in a close race with another candidate, so it’s worth the effort to think about building your online image ahead of time. Blogging and social networking can help you. Just make sure to avoid inappropriate online behaviors that can tarnish your persona.
About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts covering social media and education on behalf of American InterContinental University. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.