So many people want to tell you what not to do when working on your job search online. In this tough job market too many well intentioned people can scare you out of some solid, bold approaches online. We can recount the many mistakes and hazards of building your online brand. Read just about any article on this subject. Some of the eye catching article or blog warnings start with lines like The Five Fatal Mistakes of…and you can fill in the blanks after the ellipsis. Don't do this and don't do that. But bold, positive steps and habits should be a part of any sophisticated, executive job search. So let's talk about building a core, positive presence online and what you can do to improve your job search networking etiquette and habits.
1. Be Nice – Educate.
If you are on Linked In, Twitter or are commenting on a blog how about finding something that is right and commenting or educating others why it's right. So why should you find things that are right and promote them or comment on them or originate some positive ideas? In December 2009 a study by Microsoft Corporation said that 79% of hiring managers and job recruiters review online information about job applicants before making a hiring decision. In the study 70% said that they rejected candidates based on information that they found online for lifestyle, inappropriate comments, and unsuitable photos and videos. So why don't you find a way to develop good habits, write appropriate comments and publish positive photos and videos?
2. Create Consistently Positive Content.
Instead of making general comments on Linked In updates, posting silly, personal anecdotes to Twitter or Facebook, start adding positive, forward looking content, questions and information to all your social networks. Ask thought provoking questions in groups on Linked In or develop some interesting posts about key industry insight that you have gained to Twitter. Write and comment on blogs that inspire you. If we assume employers look at your digital signature and can see what you are doing let them catch you doing something right. It's simple stuff, the kind of thing The One Minute Manager addressed 30+ years ago.
3. Treat Your Current Employer Right
Some people start getting very active on Linked In, Twitter and some other social media sites while they are employed. They work on getting noticed and running a passive search. That's smart and their are a lot of secrets to doing this right that we work on with our clients. But some people use working hours to do a lot of their online networking. It's just bad karma or a bad seed planted if you take time from your employer to network aggressively for your job search when your fiduciary responsibility is still owed to your current employer. So do things during the day that will help your current employer if you are networking online during working hours. For example, one of our clients found several creative ways to network, contribute and build a social media presence that actually benefitted her current employer first. Fast forward. She has been contacted and interviewed four time and has one outstanding offer because of this work. And my coaching to her from the beginning was focused on not robbing her current employer while she did this work. Treating your current employer right when it comes to networking online paid her dividends.