Already employed but still “on the market”? You bet you are.
Welcome to the age of the permanent job search.
When Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook make your digital footprints visible to recruiters and selection committees, you can assume your online presence is being searched, creeped and crawled on a regular basis.
Sounds creepy, but those digital traces that we leave behind in social status updates, Instagram photoshares, blog comments, Amazon.com and eBay reviews are easy for someone to recover with a little digital sleuthing.
Altogether this “small data” culminates in a rather random online story about you – but is it accurate?
To tell a different story about yourself, one more relevant than that which Google’s algorithm compiles, you’ll need to be proactive.
Consider taking the following steps to add a new and more meaningful, useful, and current story about yourself for recruiters, event planners, headhunters, advisory boards, talent scouts, award and search committees to discover:
Write a different story
Launch that blog you’ve always thought about.
Don’t know how to write code? Blogger (free and owned by Google), Tumblr and WordPress (also both free) make it easy with professional design templates, tech support walk-thrus, and huge communities of users to turn to for advice and inspiration.
Only you can curate the information that is attached to your name online.
Use your blog as a platform mixing professional and personal (but always work-safe) content to tell a story about your lifestyle, workstyle, and values – including the importance of work-life balance.
Show, don’t tell
Communicate your story visually.
The truism that great images speak a thousand words has never been more relevant that today, with the rise of Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine. The social web loves photos. Take advantage of that by visually documenting your personal style, your city, professional accomplishments, volunteering and community engagement.
Spread a little joy with awesome images and in the process you’ll engage and inspire others with a story of how you see the world.
Make it personal
Purchase your vanity domain.
In fact, purchase all of them.
Protect your good name by grabbing your dot.coms, then pick up your.ca, .net, even your .guru (yes, it’s soon available).
Name often misspelled?
Purchase that one too.
Have a super popular name and someone else has already registered it?
There are a lot of stories out there. Stay informed about new social media platforms to keep your story up to date.
No problem. Consider branding yourself with a signature (even trademarked) title (LindaLifeCoaching, DesignByDave, FredFixIt), your city (MikeWardTO), a professional suffix (DrTim, ProfessoryGary) or certification (JimChenCFA).
Looking for a graduation present for someone in your family? Gift them their domain names.
There’s one more reason to flex your digital creativity and mark your territory online.
Taking charge and telling your story, documenting your special projects and passions and illustrating your goals and aspirations is a total confidence boost. Actively maintain your online presence and the bonus is a reminder of just how far you’ve traveled on your personal career journey.
Fully employed or not, you just may be the passive “star talent” candidate a recruiter is searching high and low for online (particularly if you work in a field currently experiencing a skilled labor shortage or skills gap).
As employers follow your digital footprints – and they will – be sure you’re one step ahead with an online story you’re proud of.