Recently I got the chance to review some resumes of candidates who are applying for positions in the company I work for. After reviewing each of the resumes I got, I wanted to find more about the applicant what have they done so I turn to Google. But I really had a difficult time finding details about the applicants apart from very few exceptions. It was really difficult to find information about most of the applicants.
Especially in IT industry as a fresh graduate/experienced professional you want to be found. Not the other way around. Making it easy for a company/ interviewer to find you might be the difference between landing an interview and be one step closer to your dream job.
So, with my personal experience and from what I have seen, the following are some tips for you to improve your internet presence. I call this “Search Engine Optimizing Yourself”.
Keep Your Name Consistent
This in my view is one of the most important things that you can do. You might have many names in your full name but stick to one combination you like and use it all throughout your different accounts online. For example your name may be like John Stewart Liam Smith 😀 but if you prefer to be called ‘John Smith’ great. Stick with it. Use it in your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Stackoverflow, GitHub accounts. But most importantly use the same name in your Resume as well. Because we really don’t care what your full name is and the notion that you should have your full name on top of your CV is pretty stupid and outdated. Imagine a scenario where you have your preferred name on your CV and the same name is on all of your ‘Professionally Important’ accounts, one search of your name on the CV and all the relevant details are found in a snap. There were situations where I had to Google different combinations of an applicant’s name just to find a proper search result. For those applicant’s sake, I was willing to take the time. But someone else would not do the same.
Join Technology Forums, Q&A Platforms
If you are an IT guy, then this is in my view is very important. For example, let’s take Stackoverflow. If you here, not only you have a place where you get answers to your tech related questions, but you rack up points by answering questions and asking questions. This showcases your contribution to the community. If you manage to get a substantial amount of points on Stackoverflow it will surely be a boost for you.
Create a Blog and Post Often
This is important. Very important. You might have excellent academic record. Great, but what are you doing with that knowledge, experience? Knowledge is not a thing you keep in your head, its meant to be shared. So, share it on a blog and help others to harness that knowledge. This doesn’t have to be a tech blog all the time. If you are an IT guy a tech blog showcases your abilities but don’t limit yourself to that. Go wild.. 🙂 Having a blog not only shows your contribution to the community, it also helps remember technical stuff. If you ever forget a fix that you found and you have written a post about it.. No worries, it’s there on your blog.
Share Your Code With the Community
If you have created something that you think might help others share it. Easiest way of doing this is to have a GitHub account. Share what you have created with others and showcase your coding skills. If you have the technical skill, contribute to some open source projects. Many big companies have their projects moved to GitHub as open source projects so contribute and show your skills. This will be a bonus point for you.
Have a Personal Website
This can be a great way to market yourself. Have a personal website that show off who you are, what your passions are. Give a short but to the point descriptions of your self-highlighting your best attributes, skills. This is also a great place to host an “online resume” of yours and have a downloadable version as well. If possible, have buy a domain name that matches your preferred name. Do the proper optimizations and it will surely end up in the first page when someone search for you.
Have a Proper Email Signature
This is a small thing but this might come in handy. It only takes a few minutes to add an email signature to your email client and you should have your Preferred Name, if you are an undergraduate/graduate you should Include your Degree and some of your important social profiles such as LinkedIn, Your Personal Blog etc.
Have an Online Resume
This is really easy if you have your own personal website. Sometimes the sole purpose of the personal website is to be the online resume of sorts, but sometimes you may prioritize other content as your content of the personal site (This is the case in my personal website). Create a page dedicated for an online resume and keep it up to date. Also, have a Downloadable PDF version of your profile linked to the CV page as well.
Use Social Media To your Advantage
Social media can be a very powerful tool to improve your online presence. But it can be a double-edged sword if you are not careful. You have to think about what you share on social media. If you want to have a good impression on your personality think about what you share before you share. Because your social media account most of the time reflects your personality. Let people know that you are a techy by sharing tech related posts. Share your own blog posts, projects etc. via social media. That will gain recognition for your as a technical person.
Understand that It Takes Time
You need to understand that building a good online presence does not happen overnight. You have to keep working at it, keep optimizing and keep putting out content to your blogs etc. to keep it going. Most of the time it will take around 1 – 2 years to build a good online presence and properly ‘SEO: Yourself’. So, you need to be consistent and be patient while you do this.
So, these are some of the things you can do to ‘Search Engine Optimize: Yourself’ while on your way to building a successful professional career. You have to know that this is not gonna be easy, and it takes time to build something good. As people say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a Day’ But the benefits of your hard work would be massive. And you will be surprised to see how much it had affected your chances to gain the opportunities of your dreams.