Do you believe you need an online presence to help you land a job — or to help you manage your career? I spent 45 minutes last week trying to convince a career-changing friend she needed HerName.com. She is finishing an advanced degree and will be looking for opportunities in a teaching specialty. She can’t understand why it is important to have an online presence, and she made some good points:
- I’m going to get a job because my professor recommends me to a colleague; it doesn’t have anything to do with having a website.
- I’m not comfortable having information about me online that just anyone can find.
I tried my go-to reasons to explain why her own site was a good idea:
- Even if your professor recommends you for the job, it’s likely the hiring manager will also Google you. What will she find?
- A personal site is a way to control how your name appears online.
- Statistics show your online presence matters, and that employers are looking for personal and professional data about you.
- In fact, while you may think you have “privacy” online, NOT putting up your own site only gives people an incentive to look deeper in the web for information about you. Take a look at these sites to learn what the “deep web” knows about you: pipl.com, Polymeta.com.
- Managing a site is important for career insurance and professional development. Showcasing your expertise online (even if it is in a new field) helps demonstrate what you have to offer, even when you aren’t looking for a job. An online presence can grow and change along with your career and help attract people to learn more about you. This could result in opportunities to speak at conferences or events, or even invitations to apply for jobs down the road.
None of this persuaded her. Finally, I came up with one last point…Something I’ve written about, but hadn’t thought to bring up during our conversation:
- Having a website suggests you have some technical savvy and understand how to use online tools to communicate. That, in and of itself, is an important skill many employers value. It’s known as “social proof.” You may say you know about technology on your resume, but actually using it to showcase your own information goes a long way to prove you have what employers want.
Finally! She replied…”I can see how that would be important.” Noting technology in the classroom is key, and knowing how to use it could be useful, she acknowledged the “social proof” argument was more persuasive than anything else I said.
Especially if you are transitioning to a new job or an experienced job seeker who needs to overcome age discrimination, having an up-to-date online presence and maybe even a viable blog helps show prospective employers you’re willing to learn and are perfectly capable of keeping up with technology.
Maybe you, like my friend, are skeptical. You can’t envision how and why having an online presence will help you get a job, manage your career or become known as an expert in your field. Since I spend so much of my time keeping up with job search strategies and researching tools job seekers and careerists need to use, it’s so clear to me that having YourName.com is crucial to your professional identity and to managing your career.
That’s why I created a product/service to help people (even the skeptical ones) secure and manage their own websites. I’m giving it away for a steal (a colleague told me I should be charging $1000+). Think about how your investment can help you move in the right direction for your career and visit my new site to learn how to get a social resume: http://www.getasocialresume.com/.
photo by nyuudo