If you’re not used to it, LinkedIn networking and the whole online recruiting process can seem daunting. You may be worried that you won’t say the right thing, or they won’t actually help you, or maybe you’re just shy. But actually, working with recruiters who reach out to you or who you reach out to online can be a really great way to fast-track your career. Here are a few tips to help you work that relationship.
Start with an Updated Profile
One of the biggest ways we interact with people, both socially and professionally today, is our web presence. How we present ourselves and interact with others over the internet, on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter all make an impression with others, and can directly influence our professional reputation and personal brand.
Making sure that your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn, are saying what you want them to say is a critical first step to building a solid brand online. Often old posts or comments can bury the good information and content that will help you stand out from a crowd of candidates. Make sure you know what people see when they look you up on the web. Update your resume or work experience on LinkedIn. Make sure you have a recent picture as your profile. Standardize your graphics or backgrounds across your social media accounts so that you are presenting yourself in a consistent manner wherever someone will find you.
To that point, make sure there are no discrepancies between what you say about your professional history from site to site. This includes job boards or another website you have used in the past. Think about your online presence from the perspective of a stranger looking to learn about you for the first time. Any red flags they find this early in the process of getting to know you can be the first impression you leave them with before you even get the chance to shake their hand.
Get Active in Groups
A big part of building your brand online is based on engaging with the online community. Set yourself up for success by establishing yourself as a thought leader and a teacher within the industry. Share high-quality content consistently and engage with groups (on Facebook or LinkedIn, for example) to help people learn from that industry experience. By directly engaging with the people you are looking to influence, your reputation immediately benefits from that effort, so long as you remain open to feedback and maintain a respectful discourse with your audience. You never know who is in those groups reading your content. You could be speaking with a future employer and never even realize it.
Check Your References
Your references matter a lot when it comes to your job search. Do you have people who you have worked with closely in the past who can speak to the quality of your experience, your work effort, the impact you have had on other companies you’ve worked with? Your advocates are a key part of building your personal brand, just like with companies who focus on their brand marketing efforts. In a job search (and even in between job searches), you need to build your brand by influencing how people think of you. That means doing really good work. Ask for references. Be helpful everywhere. Focus on how you interact with your coworkers. The truth is that every person you meet can help you build a bridge. You never know who will help you get where you want to go.
For more tips on how to begin working with a recruiter, connect with the team at Bergman Brothers today!