If you’re looking for a job, you probably already know that it’s important to create a profile on and participate in LinkedIn. But what about other social sites? Let’s face it: There are a number of options when it comes to social networking. By participating in some of the most heavily trafficked sites, you can better establish your online presence, making you more visible to professional contacts and prospective employers alike.
Jen gives Roger some great tips during the latest episode of Burns & McDonnell’s Engineering Career GPS series on Engineering.com. Establishing and maintaining your online presence is about more than making connections. It’s also a way to help feed colleagues, clients and prospective employers important information about your professional skills and experience.
3 Ways to Establish Your Online Presence
Google profile. If you haven’t already created a Google profile, make time to do this ASAP. This will likely be the first thing that appears when someone searches for your name. And just as you would in LinkedIn, you’ll want to create a complete Google profile that includes your photo, links to your company website and/or blog, and other pertinent information that gives people a quick yet complete snapshot of you and your experience. If you haven’t already, take a minute to Google yourself, too. See what links and information appear in the search results so that you have a clear idea of what others will find.
Google+. Once you’ve created your Google profile, it might not hurt to take it one step further and head over to Google+. Google’s social networking site has amassed more than 100 million users and while we’re not yet sure it’s here to stay, it might be a great way to make industry-related connections. Interested in a bit of trivia? The most common job title used on Google+ has the word “engineer” in it, which means Google+ is a powerful source for engineering connections, job opportunities and information.
Twitter. On the surface, Twitter may seem like a fast-moving stream that can be hard to follow. And although the pace of conversation moves rapidly, Twitter continues to emerge not just as a great source for dialog and connections, but for industry-related experience, too. More than 300 Twitter chats take place throughout the week. They’re typically 1 hour in length and are usually devoted to a certain subject matter, like #jobhuntchat, and are branded by hashtags. To participate, simply log onto TweetChat, input the hashtag of the chat you want to follow, and tweet away. Most chats are guided by a moderator who will ask questions to keep the discussion on track, although side conversations often happen among participants. Not only will you learn valuable information, but this is a great time to broaden your connection base, too. If you find a piece of information later in the week that’s relevant to the group, don’t hesitate to tag it with the hashtag, even if you’re sharing outside the chat window.
As you broaden your online profile, it’s important to realize that there are valuable social networking sites in addition to LinkedIn. And if you, like Roger, are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the time required to create and maintain an active online presence, Jen has a great counter: “Is finding your dream job easy?”
Of course, you don’t want to spend hours upon hours online at the expense of your workload or mental health! Instead, spend a few minutes during regular intervals throughout the day to visit your various social networks, interact and make any needed updates. You’ll find that you develop a rhythm as online interaction becomes more natural. And when you do land that dream job, the effort you put forth will make the taste of success that much sweeter!
As you spend time on your online profiles and broaden your social networks, don’t forget to take us along for the ride, too! Stay up-to-date with our latest job opportunities on our Careers page, and feel free to connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Image by Kalexanderson via Creative Commons