Job Search

Wouldn’t you prefer to have employers seek you out or have jobs come to you? This may be possible if… you create an online career portfolio today!

The Logic Behind the Magnet Theory

Consider how companies, large and small, and recruiters search for talent. The first steps usually involve tapping their current network, people they know a lot or a little. This could be a quick keyword search on LinkedIn or it may be an in the form of an outreach email. Next they may check specific LinkedIn groups or niche networks where professionals they are looking for hang out. In all instances, employers and recruiters are using keywords to find the right candidate. But it isn’t just about skills. Employers want to feel like they can trust you and that you will fit in. The more help you offer and the more detailed information you include about your background, the more likely you are to be remembered or found. You are going to use this reverse logic to create a lead-generating pipeline of opportunities!

Targeting Your Audience

You want to hang with other like-minded thinkers in your field. Where are they having conversations, virtually and in-person? As you network, this is a great question to ask someone. These are the groups and meetings you want to be a part of.

Engaging With Your Audience

Your activity within these groups is not self-promotional. In other words, you shouldn’t proclaim your desire to find a new job or notify the group you are available for hire. Instead, help resolve problems posed within the group. If someone asks a question, offer advice or potential solutions. Provide answers based on your area of expertise. People are more likely to notice you for the help you offer than the fact that you are available. Additionally, if they like and trust you, you are much more likely to be remembered.

Have Something To Reference

When people see you are knowledgeable on a specific topic, they are likely to want to learn more about you. Where do you want them to go? What do you want them to know about you? Don’t leave this to chance. If you are attending an in-person event, be sure you have a business card with your website or LinkedIn profile URL. If you are a member of an online group, make sure your profile clearly spells out what you do and includes that same link to your website or LinkedIn profile.

Your Online Portfolio Options

There are two options for you to consider as you build your online portfolio.

You Can Use Linkedin As Your Online Portfolio

LinkedIn is the “go-to” destination for people looking for talent, it makes the perfect platform for hosting your samples of work.

You can upload virtually any type of document in these sections of your LinkedIn profile: summary, experience and education. Be sure you clearly name your document with keywords an employer would search for. For example:

“Presentation on social media usage by non-profits. Delivered at Non-Profit Association”
“Monthly customer service metrics with graphs Created by and for Your Name”

Better Yet, Create Your Own Site

The best career insurance is to own your name online and one way to do that is to have site. Don’t worry if .com isn’t available. There are other options such as .me or even .net. Once you’ve secured your domain name, you can decide whether you want to use a simple website design solution such as WordPress. Finally, the fun part begins by assembling your online portfolio. Consider using traditional, easy-to-find pages to organize your materials such as About, Portfolio/Samples of Work, and Resume pages.

Gather Your Portfolio Materials

Begin collecting pieces for your portfolio. Keep in mind that sharing confidential information can be damaging to you and your previous employer. Make sure you only use documents that can be shared publically. Here are some ideas of what to gather:

Samples of your work:

  • Reports, papers, studies, brochures, projects, presentations
  • Published papers and conference proceedings
  • Letters of recommendation, testimonials, email Thank Yous
  • Honors and awards
  • Conferences, workshops, training
  • Licenses and certifications
  • Professional Associations
  • Community service/Volunteer activities
  • Resume (Microsoft Word version)
  • Infographic or visual resume

Don’t Wait. Start Today

In today’s online world, having a copy of your resume posted on one of the mega job boards isn’t enough. You want to build an online presence containing samples of work and reputation of excellence.

About Hannah Morgan

Hannah Morgan provides no-nonsense help for new job seekers. She provides advice and serves as a guide to traverse the treacherous terrain of today's economy by focusing on pro-active strategies for job search and leveraging social networks. Career Sherpa is one of many outlets where Hannah shares her information. Follow Hannah on Twitter @careersherpa!

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