It's Labor Day and sadly for many this is not a day off, but just another day searching for work. Unemployment and underemployment are still pretty rampant as we are recovering from the economic crisis and we at Unplggd want to do our part to help out. Sure, we all know about using the Internet to search for jobs, this post however will focus on the other tools the Internet has to offer including visualizing your work and skills as an infographic.
Making your potential employers aware of how great of a job candidate you are is not as simple as emailing a resume. We all know that certain behaviors online can tank job prospects (hello Facebook debauchery pics), but what are the things that positive things one can do that take advantage of the Internet?
1. Google or Bing Yourself
We all know you are probably doing this anyway, but do it again. What do you see? Are you happy with the results? Do the results show the face that you want potential employers to see or is it all Facebook pics from college parties and whining on Twitter? How far down in the results is your professional persona or does it even exist online? Get serious about what you put online and realize that those images you are tagged in can go a long way in ruining your credibility. Think about what you want potential employers to see and know about you and then start editing your online life accordingly.
As old fashioned as it sounds, maintaining a solid portfolio of well thought out writing online, especially if it is about your area of expertise or interesting hobby, is very helpful when it comes to job acquisition. Writing skills are highly valued and by keeping up with your blog you are showing potential employers that you know how to write well and have done it time after time.
Similar to why a blog works well, Twitter is a great way to help establish online credibility and boost your search results. Public Twitter accounts are easily searchable and by tweeting interesting content and engaging with others it's a good real world way to show those 2011 skills that employers are looking for.
We are not saying that you should eliminate your Facebook use, but we would recommend looking at your Facebook presence with a critical eye. What does it say about you? How might those comments on your wall be misconstrued? Is the you that is on Facebook the one that you would be proud presenting in a professional setting? Privacy settings are important, but don't trust in them completely. If you would be chagrined if what you wrote or were photographed doing was made public, don't put it online. While some argue that Facebook is for personal stuff and Linkedin is for work stuff, we would disagree. Newsflash, if it's online it all gets looked at and evaluated. While you might separate those spheres, potential employers do not, they only see you.
As cold as it seems to have a number assigned to your online identity that is what Klout does. Klout looks at your various services that you link to it, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc and judges your network and influence. We have heard from quite a few recruiters that they look at potential candidates Klout scores and we admit to not being terribly surprised by this.
6. LinkedIn Recommendations
Your LinkedIn profile is a great way of having your work experience online without plastering your resume with personal details like your phone number and address all over the Internet. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and look to colleagues and former employers for recommendations. These speak louder than nice blurbs someone wrote for you on your website as they are easily verifiable. With a few clicks potential employers can see who wrote this recommendation and where they have worked and can confirm the legitimacy of the source. LinkedIn profiles also frequently pop up when someone searches for you online and they contain the source material that sites like Flavors.me and Visualize.me pull from.
7. Online Calling Cards
Sites like Flavors.me and About.me are Internet calling cards (think old fashioned paper personal info cards not phone cards). They aggregate the various places your content is online into one site. These are very useful for directing a potential employer to, so make sure what the sites are pulling together is solid. As a bonus many of these connect with your LinkedIn profile, giving you another place where your work experience and recommendations exist.
8. Cover Letters in the Cloud
Although it seems so 2000 and late in the web 2 and 3.0 universe, cover letters are still important. Store your cover letters in the cloud using Evernote, OneNote, GoogleDocs, or iDisk (for current MobileMe subscribers) so that they are easily accessible for you to pull down and share as needed. These services are also a good place to store your resume for quick distribution.
Meetups on Meetup.com are a great way to meet others in your field and network in a non-threatening environment. Word of mouth and internal referrals are still solid ways to land a new gig, so expand your pool by meeting some new folks.
10. The Resume Infographic
Last, but not least, we recommend giving your resume a makeover infographic style. An easy way to do this is to use Visualize.me which connects to your LinkedIn profile to grab the necessary data and provides an easy way to present it graphically.
What are your tips for using the Internet to help with your job search?
(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)