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Establishing your online profile



Your online profile is not only intrinsic to your personal brand, but plays an essential role in your search for a new position and overall career progression. Employers and recruiters will want to research potential candidates, before inviting them to an interview. It also provides you with the opportunity to stand out from the crowd by showing off your expertise and personality.

With more social media channels now available more than ever, it’s crucial to set up your online profile.

LinkedIn

We highly recommend using LinkedIn – with more than 259 million users, this social platform is the world’s largest professional network. If used correctly, you can connect with other business professionals and groups, as well as keep following updates from employers, brands and influential business owners.

However, to take full advantage of this site it’s important to create a strong profile on a site that generates a high volume of traffic so your name can be easily found if searched in Google.

From a recruiter’s perspective, this is a popular network to headhunt individuals for specific roles, so promoting a strong profile is more likely to get you noticed.

It’s important to remember that your profile should reflect your CV, but must be less informal – however don’t be afraid to tailor your profile to include detail; state your job title and specifications, contact details and upload a clear and appropriate picture of yourself.

Google+

Although almost unknown a few years ago, Google+ has since grown to 300 million active users a month.

This is a particularly useful site if you want to start writing content such as blogs because Google+ collates all public information about you into one place to showcase your portfolio of work, including your other social media profiles.

By optimising the ‘circles’ feature in Google+ you can connect with influential figures, hiring managers, specialist recruitment firms as well as those already employed in companies you wish to join.


Twitter

It’s reported that over 5,500 tweets are sent every second of the day. With such constant communication, Twitter has become an excellent tool for both businesses and individuals looking to raise their profile.

In short, Twitter is similar to blogging – but in 140 characters or less. Once you send a ‘tweet’ into your news feed, your followers will be able to instantly view it, retweet, favourite it or reply. By using the ‘@’ symbol users can instantly interact and network with others, providing the opportunity to continuously promote your professional brand.

Twitter is also an excellent and efficient platform to conduct your job search. By following the industry, companies and brands you’re interested in, you’re more likely to build a strong relationship network. Furthermore, more companies are establishing separate Twitter accounts purely for internal recruitment providing you with first hand updates and behind the scenes insights.

You should try and convey both your personality and professional opinion in your tweets. Don’t jeopardize your image by tweeting something others could take offence to - first impressions are just as important online as they are in real life.

Pinterest

If you favour images and videos over written content, it might be worth setting up a Pinterest account. This particular social network has become increasingly popular, especially if integrated with other online platforms.

Users can display visual boards of their interests to include imagery, websites and blogs to grab the attention of their followers and any potential hiring managers.

Pinterest provides an excellent way of demonstrating your passion for your industry outside of your work environment – creating ‘boards’ that relate to your expertise will emphasise your knowledge of the industry, adding to your professional brand.

How to promote your profile

To build a strong online presence it’s important to directly promote your profile, whether this is through your CV, covering letter, business card or email signature. You should think of your online profile like a business – visibility is key to the success of a brand, letting your audience know what you’re able to offer will only provide further opportunity and interaction.

Establishing your online presence further

If you’ve created your chosen profiles, but are looking to establish yourself as an expert within your field, then you should concentrate on writing content. Within a short space of time, you can build a reputable name within online communities by writing articles about your business expertise. There are many online editors that are keen to accumulate brand new content via guest blogs, or you could publish and share your opinions via sites such as www.wordpress.com or www.blogger.com.

Whatever route you decide to take to establish your online presence, it’s important to put a strategy into place in order to build up a reputable authority. Before choosing a social media network, think about what you want to achieve and how much time you have to commit to establishing your presence. 
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