Your online brand is an essential part of your job search. Employers are searching for your name in search engines and on social networking sites. They’re looking to get a sense of who you are, what you’re passionate about and how you will fit in with their current team. What does your online brand convey about you?
The following mistakes can hurt a job seeker’s chance at landing an open position. Are you guilty of any of these?
1. Weak presence on social and professional networking sites.
One of the first places an employer will look for your online presence is Facebook. After that, they might look to LinkedIn to verify employment history and read your recommendations. Will they find a profile for you? If so, is it professional? Is it complete? Your online profiles need to show a potential employer how valuable you are—or they might move on to a more desirable candidate.
2. Failing to monitor your online personal brand.
There are a variety of reputation monitoring tools available online today, such as Google Alerts. Set up searches and alerts on your name to receive instant notification about recent information posted about you. It can also be a great way to identify any cyber twins – individuals who share your name — that might hurt your job search if an employer confuses you with them.
3. Trying to be everything to everyone.
A personal brand needs to focus on a specific niche – so don’t try to be an expert in several fields if you’re searching for a job. Instead, focus on building a strong online brand as an expert in one field. It will help avoid confusion and you’ll build better relationships with folks in that particular niche as well.
4. Lack of focus or consistency.
If you plan on building a brand on social networking sites, writing a blog or doing other activities to enhance your visibility in the space, you need to be consistent. For example, don’t spend two weeks tweeting, creating content and making connections and then drop off the face of the Earth. It takes time to build an online brand—and you’ll see your effort pay off through search engine optimization, a growing network and positive search results for your name.
5. Only talking about yourself.
No one wants to follow or friend someone who is constantly pushing their own content or talking about their job search activities. In order to brand yourself as a thought leader in your niche, share content related to your field, interact with other professionals and provide value. That’s how you’ll make the most meaningful relationships that can ultimately help your career.
What other online branding mistakes do you see people making?
Tony Morrison is the Vice President at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. His roles include sales, marketing, and business development. He is passionate about building B2B and B2C client relationships and brings this passion to Cachinko where he focuses on helping job seekers to find their ideal job and employers to find, attract, and engage their next rock star candidates. Find him on Facebook.