Searching for Work? How to Market Yourself Online

Marketing yourself online is critical if you want to have a successful job search. But, are you doing it properly? Look at these tips and let us know!

Anyone who is actively searching for work these days may notice that having an online presence is extremely important. The job field has always been competitive, but may seem even more so when trying to figure out how to market oneself. For years, the main goal when looking for freelance work or a new job, was to build an offline portfolio that showcased all of your strengths and experiences. While an offline portfolio may be relevant and advantageous in certain areas, your online presence is usually more important and can be the one thing that helps you stand out from the crowd, who are also vying for your dream position.

Whether you’ve already started marketing yourself online, but feel like you could use a little help or you have no idea where to start, here are some tips to creating a more “marketable” you:

1. Social Networking Like a Professional

Smiling woman taking a selfie photo in an urban street in winter

Whether you’re a Millennial or a Baby Boomer, social networking may mean different things to you, but it can still be helpful when looking to market yourself online - if you do it right. Although there are numerous social networking sites to choose from, and you may have accounts on a large number of them, it’s important to focus on the ones that will connect you with other professionals. Sure, Facebook continues to gain new members each day and holds strong as the top social networking site, but it can come across a little too casual at times.

If you haven’t already signed up for LinkedIn, now is the time. LinkedIn is kind of like the Facebook of the professional world and allows you to connect with your classmates, faculty, and family on a professional level. It’s also an excellent way to build your professional brand and market yourself in your field, all while taking control of your profile and managing what potential employers learn about you from the Internet.

LinkedIn is all about connecting you with opportunities, and the best way to get connected is by making sure that you are utilizing your profile on a regular basis rather than putting all of your energy into your other social media accounts (which are often less marketable). By often updating, making connections, and setting professional goals, you will be getting more out of your LinkedIn page than some of your competitors.

2. Using Other Social Media

While LinkedIn is a great way to get connected, don’t assume that you need to abandon your Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram. These social media sites are popular and if used correctly can be helpful to market yourself. If you’re planning on using numerous social networking profiles make sure your information is consistent, your profile picture is the same for each profile, and your plan of action for marketing yourself is the same. If your profiles are too inconsistent and random, people may think they’re looking at different people.

3. Additional Social Media Tips

hand touch social media

These days, getting noticed and landing a job may take a little more time and creativity as filling out a basic application is becoming a rarity. If you do fill out a standard application, either online or in person, it’s probably just to make sure that you qualify for the position. Once you’ve passed that process, you’ll need to prove to potential employers why you’re different (and a better choice) than the hundreds of other applicants and even then, you may not be given an actual interview. This is when your social media profiles, networking, and personal website can all come in handy (if they haven’t already).

4. Consider a Website

Does building a personal website seem a little grandiose? Think again. Having your own website may show potential employers and other professional connections that you are a serious contender, whether you’re looking for freelance work, an internship, or are even trying to show a bit of your creative side. We’re lucky to live in a technological era where anyone can have a website and build it on his or her own without investing thousands of dollars.

There are plenty of website builders on the internet and some are more reasonably priced than others (some are even free). Before selecting the first one you come across, conduct your research and check out a website builder comparison to make sure you’re choosing the best one for your websites needs and wants, such as a variety of professional looking templates, ease of use, opportunity to customize, cost, and technical support.

Creating your own website is an easy way to market yourself and not only does it make it easier for people to get a hold of you, but it shows potential employers that you are serious about networking or having an online presence. Additionally, remember that many potential employers will Google you before they even contact you for an interview. Wouldn’t you rather have them “wowed” by your personal website rather than a social media page you created and abandoned in high school?

Just like you would with any public profile, make sure your website is an accurate reflection of how you want to market yourself. Want to showcase your talents as a freelance writer? Include some examples. Always select content that is relevant to you as a professional and is meaningful. Don’t feel the need to fill your website with clutter, just to make it more interesting and always check for grammar and other editorial errors. If you choose to be a little more personal, make sure it’s appropriate for the intended audience; remember your website is the first impression of you as a person and a budding professional.

5. Indeed & Online Resumes

Woman resume on tablet

You may be old enough to remember having to rely on the newspaper when looking for job opportunities. While good ol’ fashioned classifieds still exist, you’ll only see a fraction of the professional opportunities that await if you only open up the newspaper. Thanks to job sites like Indeed, you can browse the job field and easily apply for any position that you might be qualified for. A great feature about Indeed, that also helps with marketing oneself, is the opportunity to upload your resume. When you upload a resume with Indeed, not only are you making the job application process much more streamlined, but employers can search for potential candidates by browsing through resumes and you never know when yours might pop up.

If building a resume is not your forte, Indeed will help you build your resume, allowing you to showcase all of your marketable skills and relevant job experiences. It’s also a good idea, if you have a social media account or a personal website, to link your Indeed resume to your site for easier access.

If you choose to market yourself online, always make sure your information is consistent and all platforms are updated. You don’t want your LinkedIn site saying one thing when your website says another. While you should carefully select your social media profiles - choosing ones that showcases - your talents and skills, it’s easy to have too many profiles. Select a few relevant ones, make them good, and don’t be afraid to get connected with potential employers. If that means “liking” a potential employer’s post, do it, but don’t “over like” and make thoughtful and articulate comments that show that you’re interested and smart!

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Do you market yourself effectively online? Do you have any tips you to add? Let us know in the comments section...