In today’s world no matter what field you are going into, whether you become successful in your chosen career will most likely depend on how you present yourself online. Whether it’s banking or sports, or whether you are working for a university or for a Fortune 500 company, you will be judged by how you appear online. When you submit an application for a job, there is a very good chance that your potential employer is either running Google searches for your name, or paying someone to do it for them. Moving into 2015 it is critical that you are portraying yourself the best way possible.
This is the single biggest online resource for professionals. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, then you need to get one ASAP. What is LinkedIn? Well, it’s really a summary of your professional history. It has the capability to be an online resume, but has become so much. It offers the option of gathering recommendations, having people Endorse your skills, and can even allow you to connect and contact previous colleagues and employers to share professional data.
From a search prospective the site is also very strong, which means that when someone Google’s your name, your LinkedIn profile can be one of the first things that pops up. This can be a huge tool to helping showcase your skills to potential employers.
2.) Maintaining a Website
The next thing that moving into 2015 everyone (who hasn’t already) will want to get moving on is creating a personal website. Now depending on the field that you are pursuing there are a couple different options of what type of website you’ll want to have. If you are working in an industry that is very social in nature or one that develops very quickly (online-based industries, etc.) then having a blog that you update regularly is a great type of site to have. This lets you share your expertise and sound like an expert in the field. If you are in a more stable field like banking, then just an online resume site is good enough. Again, all you are looking to do is showcase your skills and experience, and have a website that looks professional so that when an employer searches for your name, they find your website.
3.) Protecting Your Brand
The last big thing that you need to do in 2015 is to protect your brand. Most of you are probably thinking, “Well I don’t have a brand so this doesn’t really apply to me” but the truth is that when you are applying for jobs and developing your career, your name is your brand.
In 2015, over 100,000 people across the United States will be denied interviews because of what potential employers have found about them online. We could argue for days about whether this is fair or ethical but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. It is happening and it could hurt your chances of getting a job.
The best way to protect yourself is to login to all of your social media accounts and set your information to the highest possible Privacy setting available. You should make sure that you aren’t sharing anything outside of your immediate circle of friends and colleagues.