By Tekedia Editors November 15, 2012 Leave a Comment

A startup health and wellness company was looking for young graduates to  hire. They wanted people that have natural interests on wellness – eating right,  exercising often, with positive attitude. What did they do? They asked for the  usual resumes, but followed up with searching the online presence of the  shortlisted applicants. Those that looked good on paper, but showed minimal  online activities on health and wellness were eliminated. The ones with deep  online interests in this area, though not strong on paper, were shortlisted for  further assessments.

 

Technology is redesigning global commerce and how firms recruit talents is  changing. Though the typical resume still matters, professional online network  is becoming a more compelling factor for most hiring managers. A blog post could  provide a hiring opportunity, just like some media firms have hired excellent  blog commentators. Through twitter feeds, Facebook profiles and blogs, potential  applicants can be easily evaluated. So, developing a professional online brand  has become as important as crafting that resume. It is building a reputation to  showcase skills and capability in a field, and telling hiring managers that you  can add value in a team.

 

While thirty years ago, one needed a journal or conference, to present an  idea, today, a free blog account is few clicks away. A professional online  engagement could help build trust and followership while crafting a web  personality. In this team oriented 21st century, not having an online presence,  could imply disengagement and most employers will notice.

 

The following are some suggestions on how to build a professional online  persona:

 

Presence: Open at least one social media or blog account.

 

Specialize: Define an area of interest and build around it. A five-minute  online search should reveal what you represent. You need to differentiate  yourself and showcase your core skills and unique capabilities to potential  hiring managers.

 

Accuracy: Always remember that once that post goes online, you may not  control who sees it. If you lie on your accomplishments, your classmate or  co-worker is just an IP address away from challenging it. Make it accurate -  always, otherwise, you will destroy your persona.

 

Comprehensive: While blog should be short, once in a while, develop  comprehensive articles in your field and post them online. It could mean  expanding a class project you worked on, adding more contents, and fully proving  your expertise. Half-baked contents will not take you too far.

 

Judgment: What you post or share online defines who you are. Your profile  defines you – values, interests and reliability. For employers, they want  reliable team leaders and you must not offer less in your web personality.

 

Vertical Integration: Seek to connect with people ahead of you professionally  while building a horizontally network.

 

Generosity: Share and exchange good ideas. Invite people to your network and  be generous to promote good ideas from others. Write professional reviews on  books, journals and articles. In no distant time, people will reward you.

 

Policy Matters: If you are working, ensure you adhere to policies on using  the company’s name online. There is a threat that you could be a source of data  leakage that can hurt competitiveness. Your profile must not be another portrait  of your employer – you must be wise to separate both, where necessary.

 

Continuity: Professional online branding is a continuous work-in-progress  that requires constant tune-ups of networks, contents and profiles. It must be  constantly nurtured.

 

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