Differentiating yourself from other job seekers is the key in today’s employment market. A great marketing letter and resume isn’t enough. Don’t forget about your online presence.
That’s right, build a Web site specifically for marketing yourself to potential employers. Nothing fancy. Include an overview of your skills and don’t forget to let your personality shine through. Provide links to your resume. Include testimonials from former employers and business associates and PDF links to scanned letters of reference. Use samples of your work if applicable.
Worried about privacy? Then create a private or secure site that can be accessed with a password that you can give to prospective employers. In your cover letter to future employers, include a link to your Web site (with the password) and briefly describe what’s included there. In this way, you will be putting all your information at their fingertips.
Building a Web site is not difficult. Do a little research on the Internet. You can find simple templates on blog sites like http://wordpress.com/ that will allow you to post your bio, resume, contact information and start a blog. You can find templates that are easy to update and for a low monthly fee will host your site. Of course, you can get fancy and hire a Web designer. Better yet, create a barter deal with a Web master and trade services if you have talent to trade.
The good news is that when you build a Web site with your name in the URL, you will have an online presence. If the perspective boss does a search on you, you’ll be controlling what he or she sees first, rather than random links to social networks you enjoy.
Be sure to post a weekly blog on your site. Make sure that it illustrates your knowledge of your industry to show employers your particular area of expertise. Actively blogging will also extend your network to assist in your job search.
An online presence can enhance your hard copy resume because it isn’t limited to one or two pages. You can expand with testimonials, links and work samples or product. Your Web site will also demonstrate that you are staying on top of the latest networking trends.
Carol McKibben has 20 years experience as a C-Level Executive in the publishing and technology industries. She addresses human resources from a hiring manager’s perspective.