Thursday, March 14, 2019

eNetworking - Effectively Building your Online Profile

Upwards of 70% of all open positions are filled through networking. If you are on the job hunt, tapping into your network of friends, family members, classmates, professors, and coworkers can be the shortest route to employment.  But what do you do when you’ve exhausted all of your resources, or when you don’t know anyone at that dream company?

Technology has revolutionized the way we approach the job hunt, from finding companies, too submitting applications.  It has also changed the way candidates can differentiate themselves and network.  Utilizing platforms like LinkedIn and Handshake can empower people looking for employment by allowing them to build a unique brand and connect with employees that can help them get their foot in the door.  In this two-part post, we’ll help you craft a meaningful digital brand and instruct you on how to professionally connect with new people on LinkedIn.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell” - Seth Godin, Best Selling Author and Blogger

Sculpting your digital brand is as essential to e-networking as your handshake is to starting off an interview right.  Your online profiles, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, all curate a story about yourself.  This story informs your candidacy and influences how employers perceive you. Your story, your brand is meant to sell you. You are the product that your portfolio is trying to sell. When you tell employers this story, make sure it is unique to you. This will help you stand out as a candidate and allow other users to understand who you are, which will make them more inclined to talk to you.

Joining different communities online will allow you to naturally expand your network and develop a well-rounded profile.  Whether it is college alumni associations, sports team fan groups, or industry-specific organizations, becoming a part of groups that interest you will help you meet people online who may be able to share information about your desired industry and build a habit of engagement online.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Regular, meaningful engagement on your platforms is also an important aspect of building your online profile. This will allow you to spark conversation and engagement, which will help you connect with your network. Your posts can be questions to spark a conversation, relevant articles, and career updates. Whatever content you post, realize that it reflects on the type of candidate you are and the type of contacts you will reach.

Your online brand is like a hyper-relevant resume, it tells your story and must be updated as often as possible. Although this can be exhausting, it will make you stand out from other candidates.  Next time we will discuss how to professionally expand your network with meaningful and relevant connections.

Michael Goldin
External Relations Graduate Assistant

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