The new year historically marks a seasonal interest in many people looking for a change in career. Experian Hitwise reports that visits to job sites increased by 31% in the first week following the start of the new year, second only to fitness websites, that ever popular new years resolution.
2013 will see an increase in this number due to in part a surge in graduates still looking for a break-through in their chosen career. With less and less graduates opting to take a gap year at an all time low, applications for graduate jobs are conversely at an all time high. It’s been recorded that the number of graduates applying for each job has doubled since 2009 – so how can you differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd?
Digital channels provide the perfect platform for graduates to present their knowledge to prospective employees, Elance, the virtual internet marketplace for freelancers and freelance agencies predicts that in 2013, 1 in 4 university students will find themselves working in online. Access to people’s personal profiles are available to everyone and it is becoming the first step for would-be employers or recruiters to check out what you have to offer and to also understand who you are, what you do and how your skills, personality and outlook could benefit their business.
So how can graduates ensure their online profile is maximising their career prospects? Here are 9 ways to maximise your online personal profile
LinkedIn – with over 175 million members worldwide, Linkedin is the social media platform of choice providing the largest professional network. treat it as the 21st century alternative to your age old paper CV with it also providing you with options to connect to colleagues, ask for recommendations on your work, join groups allowing you to stay up to date with latest niche industries and news
Start blogging – What better way to showcase your skills than writing your own content. Today, everyone is a journalist and everyone can get access to a platform to write content like wordpress – a perfect platform to perfect your online writing and creativity and vehicle to connect to other like-minded people whatever your subject area
Industry Forums – Engage with online forums that interest you as part of where you see your career going – Forum contributors are passionate, industry knowledge owners and this is a perfect platform to keep up to date with the latest trends and news as well as help you to engage and build a contact base
Twitter/Facebook – Refine your profile – The majority of us have a personal profile with one or both of these social media platforms but there are many ways to use both channels in a corporate way to engage with authority figures within your industy.
YouTube – How about creating your own video CV and showcase it on YouTube? It’s a platform even professional footballers have turned to in order to get their profile made aware within the transfer market – take previous Manchester United midfielder, Owen Hargreaves who used Youtube to prove his fitness to would-be football clubs
Work for an online start-up – Perhaps the best advice out there is to go and get some real life experience and go work for a start-up. It’s all well and good getting your BA Hons degree but so has everyone else nowadays, anyone can recite what various marketing theorists “recommend” you do but that is not going to differentiate yourself. Personally, I’d rather employ someone who has gone out there, knucked down and worked in a small organisation
At an Interview – Should you be successful in making the interview stage but fall at the final hurdle, look for the positives..you have now a contact within the business you interviewed for so why not engage with them to see if there is any part time work you could do or at the very least, ask for some feedback on what areas you should perfect and refine. This type of feedback in invaluable to help contribute and refine your online profile.
CV – Make sure you are using the right keywords, structure your CV to the Job you’re looking for. Gone are the days where you submit a 2 sided A4 CV – in this digital age, you need to ensure you’re CV and personal profile on industry social sites like LinkedIN refer to the specific keywords would be recruiters/employers are looking for. Take time out to research potential job ads and ensure you are promoting your profile using similar keywords and phrases.
and if all else fails….
Go Offline and…
Remember to include a call to action via your blog/website/social profile…