3 Steps To Increase Your Professional Web Presence
As a school social work student I actively worked towards developing a professional web presence and creating a personal brand.
Here’s why: 91% of prospective employers are conducting social network screens. With the competitiveness of the current school social work job market, the information an employer finds can make or break your application. In fact, a survey released by Microsoft Research reported that 70% of recruiters rejected applicants based on information they found online.
Here are some of the strategies I used to cultivate a professional online presence that are useful to students and seasoned veterans alike:
1. Know What’s Online
First things first. Do a Google search on your name (note: make sure you log out of Gmail or any other google application as google with tailor your search results when logged in). Take note of the social networks that pop up.
Delete any of your inactive accounts (unless your MySpace page featuring your 16-year-old self reflects the type of professionalism you would like prospective employers to see).
Scrub your Facebook, Google+, and Twitter accounts from any unprofessional content. This includes looking through your uploaded photos and photos your tagged in. Rule of thumb: Would I want this posted on the front page of The New York Times?
2. Develop Your Branding Page
Having negative content come up on a Google search is bad, but having nothing come up doesn’t say much about your level of seriousness in the school social work field.
If you haven’t done so already, I would highly recommend creating a LinkedIn account and add as much information as you possibly can. LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your experience, education, professional connections, recommendations, and other valuable information to employers. It’s essentially a comprehensive online resume.
While LinkedIn can display a wealth of professional information, its delivery is quite bland. I find the profile pages rather unappealing. To solve this you’re going to need to go a step further and create a landing page.
The way I’ve chosen to do this is by buying my domain name and hosting a WordPress site that features my experience, skills, education, and contact information. You can view my site here: www.scottcarchedi.com. Owning this domain name guarantees that my landing page will be on the first page of Google search results.
Not everyone will have the desire or technical skill to create and host their own website. Fortunately, there are a number of easy (and free) alternatives.
Three of the best looking and functional (in my humble opinion) personal landing page sites are About.me, Vizify and Zerply. While About.me is probably the easiest to create and customize, Vizify and Zerply can import data from your social networks and are more interactive.
3. Blog Or Post On Professional Topics
You should use your blog or social network sites to post content and opinions related to social work. You can also make thoughtful comments on others’ blogs or Facebook posts related to the field.
Doing so will portray thought leadership, develop credibility, and increase your online visibility to potential employers.
If you’d like to get started blogging, but don’t want to have your own website, you can write guest posts for other websites. Your articles will show up when someone Google’s your name. If you’d like to write a post for socialworkjobspot.com please email me.
I hope you found this information useful. I’d love to hear what other strategies people are using to increase their professional web presence.