Step 1: Analyze Your Online Presence
Search for yourself in Google. What do you find? Is there anything unprofessional? Are there any search results for other individuals who share your name that could potentially harm your job search?
Recommended resource: Vizibility
Comb through your social networking profiles. Take down anything that would be inappropriate for an employer to see, including photos, videos, notes, wall posts, offensive language, etc. Don’t rely on privacy settings to protect your content—clean it up!
Recommended resource: MyWebCareer
Step 2: Get Your Marketing Documents in Shape
Think of your cover letter, resume and other documents during your job search as marketing documents. What are they marketing? You.
Your cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager will see. It should be more personable than your resume. Use it to convey your passion and interest for the job and to concisely state why you are a good match. Always make it about what you can do for the company—and customize each cover letter in your job search.
Your resume is the driving force in landing you an interview with the hiring manager. It should be concise, tailored to the job opening, and convey how your skills and expertise fit the job description. Only include experience that directly relates to the open position.
Your business cards make you look like a professional. They also come in handy while networking. Be sure to include on them your name, title or area of expertise, e-mail address, phone number(s) and website or blog address.
Step 3: Join & Engage in Professional & Social Networking Communities
It’s often not what you know but who you know (and who knows you) that lands you the job. During and before your job search, join professional and social networking communities in order to meet new people, build mutually beneficial relationships and strengthen connections with contacts.
Step 4: Create an Online Portfolio
In today’s online world of personal brands, you need to stand out by having your own website to showcase your work. No matter what your field, a portfolio can help you land a job if it’s done correctly.
Find out if your personal domain name is for sale and buy it. Begin building a portfolio on a site that you’re comfortable using – make sure to include an “about me” page, excellent portfolio pieces, and a “contact me” page.
Step 5: Start a Blog
Blogging is a great activity to boost your job search and increase your visibility. Not only are most employers impressed when you have a blog, but you become easier to find online and build up your professional network in the process.
Important steps in starting a blog:
- Choose a blogging software
- Decide on a topic
- Create a blogging plan
- Think about how you’ll publicize your content
- Start writing!
Step 6: Get Found on Google
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of developing the visibility of a website in search engines.
How to start using SEO:
- Get linked
- Increase traffic
- Use keywords
- Tag yourself
- Create relevant content
- Be active
Step 7: Become an Expert
An expert is defined as a person who has a special skill or knowledge in some particular field. Nowadays, an online presence is not enough. You must stand out professionally by showing some expertise in your field/industry. Brand yourself as an expert in your field on various professional and social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as on other professional blogs by leaving comments and offering guest posts.
Step 8: Convert “Prospects” into “Leads”
Providing a “call to action” is essential in order to turn prospects (potential employers) into leads (scheduled interviews). With so many people seeking jobs, it’s important to catch your future employer’s eye—fast! Include a call to action at the end of every blog post and get creative on other tactics to include in your job search.
Step 9: Convert “Leads” into “Customers”
In order to land a job, you need to impress the employer when it comes time for an interview. Be prepared, do your research, ask good questions, and make an overall great impression. Prepare your answers to typical interview questions ahead of time. Afterward, send an e-mail thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity within 24 hours—and a handwritten thank you note via snail mail.
Want to learn more about getting hired in today’s digital world? Read my free e-book here!
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com. Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhuhman.