Wednesday, October 01, 2014

3 Ways You Can Promote Yourself Online for Job Search Success - without Social Media

I talk a lot about using social media as a way to promote yourself online when you are looking for a job. But I think it is time you learned that social media is not the only way that you can use the Internet to promote yourself and increase  your chances of getting a job.

There are many other ways and I'm going to tell you about three of them today.

1. Start With a Profile Page


Now before you get excited, you don't have to dish out any money at all for this.  There are many options for profile pages that can help you get found in the search engines or you can use in resumes or in emails.

One of the best profile pages you could create is a Google profile.  Get a Gmail account if you don't already have one.  Make sure it is something professional - no hotgirl81973894@gmail.com.  Use either your full name or your first initial and your last name or something similar.  Then create your profile by clicking on your name in in the upper left hand corner.  It will have a little plus sign beside it.  This will start you off with a Google+ account.  I know, that's social  media.  You don't need to use it though.  You just want the profile.  At the top there will be a bunch of symbols and one of them is a circle with a person inside it. Click on that and then click on the About link.  Then edit it.  You can add as much information on there as you want to.  If you are using social media you can include links to your social media profiles.  If you have a blog that might benefit your job search you can add that.  And as your continue reading you will find more things you can add.

Why is a Google profile the "best" one to use?  Because it is owned by Google and that means that when people search for you it is going to come up at the top of the search results!

Another profile page you might want to create (you can do both of these you know) is an About.me page.  This is a little bit prettier but it can be just as useful.  You can put up a picture of yourself (and I do recommend it) and add any information that might be helpful for employers.

Tips for Profile Pages:

  • Include a nice picture.  Just a headshot with you smiling.  No beach scenes or anything like that (unless you want to work as a bikini model).  Something simple and attractive.  It will inspire trust.
  • Include social media links only if you are using those networks professionally.  If you are using Facebook to post pictures of the party you went to last weekend, don't include it on your profile.
  • Create a perfect summary.  More is not necessarily better.  Write something concise that will demonstrate your knowledge and skills.
2. Use an Email Signature

If you are like most people you likely send out many emails everyday.  This is an opportunity to let people know that you are job hunting!

Also, this is a great time to use your profile!  Include it as a link and people will likely check it out.  And when they check it out, they might just think, "Hey!  I know a company that this person would be perfect for!  I'm going to send their profile to my friend that works there!"

Along with a link to your profile, include a one sentence call to action.

For example you might say,
I just finished my Software Developer course and I'm excited to find a job in my field so please visit my profile and send it to someone you know who works in the industry.
The part that says "please visit my profile" should be linked to your profile, in case you hadn't guessed.

3. Join a Forum or Discussion Group

Caribbean Internet Forum Photos
Image by TaranRampersad via Flickr

While forums might be considered "old school" they are still active today and there are many benefits you can get from using a forum.

First, you need to find a forum that suits your industry that you have trained in. Go to Google and type in "forum medical assistant" or whatever your job title might be.  You could also try searching for forums in the health care industry.  By doing a little searching you are bound to find a forum or two that suits your career.

Next, join.  That should only take a few minutes.  But don't start posting yet!

Before you start posting you need to read!  Reading (or lurking) in forums is critical if you want to be accepted.  Forums are kind of clique-y and you need to understand the politics and the tone of the forum before you jump in.  Read posts.  Note who some of the most active contributors are.  Observe the kind of questions that are asked and more importantly, the kind of questions that get answers.

You have one more thing to do before you start posting.  Create your signature if you can.  You might have to have a certain number of posts under your belt before you can have a signature.  A forum signature is just like an email signature but it is important to remember that the people in the forum are strangers to you so you might need to be a little more gentle than you were in your email signature.  Do include a link to your profile page though!

Finally, start posting.  You might want to start with an introduction thread if you see that others have done that, too.  Tell them a little about yourself but don't get too long winded.  They don't need to know your life story!

You can ask questions, answer questions, and share information.  Always respond to people when they respond to you.

These are just three of the ways that you can promote yourself online and there are more!  I'll be talking about those later so keep watching this blog!

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