You’ve invested in the skills and training to reach your next goal – the opportunity. Notice I didn’t say the three-letter word “job” but instead the focus is on the opportunity. With every job comes the opportunity to share what you bring to the table. You’re confident that you are a great fit – now you just need the opportunity to meet and interview with the company. How hard can that be?
Well…like so many other things in this world the answer to that is “it depends”. It can depend on the industry, the location, the position, and so many other factors. With a little bit of luck and preparation, the opportune moment to shine can come along. What you can do now to help grease the wheels of your job search train today? The Muse has compiled a great list of things to help us refine our digital presence in today’s very digital world.
Let’s spend the afternoon focusing on ways to see what we can find about ourselves – and make sure it’s the impression we truly want to give.
- Google Yourself. We use Google daily to find an address, a website, or something we may be simply curious about. How about using Google to find what others see when they do a search for you? This is one of the practices we do in my classes and it’s always interesting to see the results. Some students with unique names are easy to find and there are some students with a very generic name (i.e. John Smith) that leave you one of many, many, many results. If you’re one of the unique – congrats and you can pursue Step 2 below. If you’re one of many – is there anything you can do to distinguish your name? Maybe use your middle initial, middle name, a suffix (if you have one)? If there is – use it on your resume, your business cards, anywhere you share your name. This may be helpful for those searching for you find you and all your awesomeness.
- Social Media Audit. You found yourself (digitally) so what would it look like to outsiders? Social media can be such a landmine of finding those careful steps to share your beliefs, thoughts, and ideas but without painting yourself in an unfavorable light to a potential employer. I’m not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, post, or share – it’s up to you. My recommendation is to try to keep it as neutral as possible.
- Create a Personal Website. Website builders like WordPress and Webflow have made the process of building a website (almost) painless and well worth the effort. Oftentimes we are so proud of our accomplishments that we want to share it all with our potential employer on our resume. Pride is one thing and you should be proud – but ultimately you want the opportunity (job) so your resume should be targeted and specific to the opportunity and not read like your autobiography. A personal website is your best place to show and share with the world all the experiences, skills, volunteerism, and passions you have to offer. Buy a domain name (optional), build a website and place the link on your resume for those curious to see how truly awesome you are.
- Clean Up Your LinkedIn Profile (or Create One). LinkedIn is not only a should-do but a must-do. Aside from your personal website – it’s another place to show and share your professional accomplishments with the world of recruiters. Invest the time to create a free LinkedIn account, take a nice headshot, and build the profile.
- Optimize Your Online Presence. You (and your website) can be the best and brightest one around but if no one finds you – does it really matter? You have your target opportunity (job) that you’re looking to gain – now do something to help make yourself stand out. Are you looking for a career as a cloud consultant? Write blog content showcasing how AWS and Google Cloud compare. Create YouTube tutorial videos on using the cloud. Not sure what to write or create? Resources like SEMRush and Answerthepublic can be great resources to learn what people are looking for and your content is going to be what helps answer those questions. What does that ultimately mean for you (and your name)? Better SEO for a better online presence and for better showcasing of yourself and your skills.
- Keep Your Information Up-to-Date. Whether it’s your website, your LinkedIn profile, or anywhere one can find you – keep your information current. Showcase your skills and your investment into your own education by posting and sharing your story, your progress, and your accomplishments.
You can read the full article from The Muse at https://www.themuse.com/advice/reinvent-online-presence-job-search.
You can also hear the full podcast answering this very question! Check it out at Cloud Education: Teacher’s Edition.
As always, if you have any questions on AWS or education – reach out to me. I’d be happy to help in whatever way I can!
Tasha Penwell is the Computer Science Program Manager at Hocking College. She’s the instructor for classes related to website development, social media marketing and is an accredited AWS Academy Educator.