Advice for marketing yourself online
Learn to effectively establish a reputation, promote your professional accomplishments and make your skills more visible for employers to see. Here are five tips for getting started.
Manage your social media presence
Get things started by cleaning up your Facebook and Twitter accounts. What does “clean up” mean? More and more employers are turning to social media to see what they can learn about prospective employees. They are looking for things you did not put on your resume. They are looking to see who you really are when your guard is down. So be careful about what you post, and be mindful of what you say to others. The best way to do this is to ask yourself this before posting: Would you say this in person? If the answer is no, then it’s probably a bad idea to post online.
Pick your strategy
Just as social media can cause problems if handled poorly, it can be extremely effective when done correctly. It’s free, and everybody uses it these days. But don’t stop there. Get creative. Blogs, vlogs, podcasts, websites, discussion posts and videos are all ways to increase visibility and promote yourself in your field. Another great tactic is to link all your content together. If you write a new blog post, promote it on your social media outlets. Or link one of your videos to your blog site. Develop a consistent message about who you are and what you know, and get it out there.
Remember: You’re a brand
Creating a memorable message, gaining impressions and building a connection with your target audience makes for effective branding. It’s what companies like Coke, Ford and UPS do, and even though it may seem strange to think of yourself this way, it’s what you should be doing online for yourself. You want to establish strong, positive associations with your name. So consider how you want to present yourself and your professional expertise. Then guard your brand online as if your career depends upon it. When you do it right, you can set yourself apart from your peers, give yourself credibility and make lasting impressions. One key: It’s important to keep your content current. You don’t want people losing interest after all that hard work you’ve done to create your brand.
Create a profile on LinkedIn
The career networking website linkedin.com now connects more than 300 million users across more than 200 countries and territories. Civilian hiring managers rely on the site to look for qualified job candidates, and the site makes it easier for employers to find you. You can build online connections with your military contacts, who can give you recommendations or information on opportunities they know about in your field. That can give you the edge you need to get your foot in the door and secure an interview. But overall, in addition to being an effective networking tool, a LinkedIn profile is a highly visible platform for you to define and present yourself.
Network with others in your profession
After devoting time to building your online presence—including making sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and that it highlights your service and service-related attributes—you will likely discover that many other professionals have done the same. Don’t be afraid to network with them. Go to sites that professionals in your field tend to frequent. For example, if you are a videographer, you will want to have a large presence on YouTube. Follow others in your field whose work you admire. Stay current on new topics and trends and discuss them on your platforms. Become a thought leader in your chosen field. Remember to keep your communications professional. Discussion boards are littered with comments that people regret having posted.
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