Monday, August 15, 2011

Job Search & Marketing Yourself in a Virtual World - Part 1

Before the Internet, job seekers were usually limited to a local market.  Job seekers were left to scour local newspapers, do some cold calling and attending local networking events in the hopes of making that key contact that will lead them to their next career opportunity. 

These days, people can choose to work in the virtual world, be available to work as or with a consultant, a financial planner, or a career or business coach across the country just as easily as working with someone across town. This is the age when prospective clients and employers find you rather than of the other way around.  But, working in the virtual world at your virtual office isn’t for everyone and with that in mind, as a job seeker, you need to know that regardless of your desire to work in a virtual world, you still need a ‘presence’ on the Internet.

Today, the Internet has made it perfectly reasonable to land a major career opportunity with someone you have never met in-person.  The Internet has also created new expectations among recruiters and hiring managers. 

Not only do employers use the Internet to find candidates with your skill set, they also expect you to make a good virtual first impression.  Moreover, the only way to be truly successful at marketing yourself in this virtual world is by establishing a good reputation.

Your Virtual First Impression
Even Internet Luddites, i.e. those who are opposed to technological advancements, now form "first impressions" of people and companies via Internet browsers. From the moment a name or business appears in a Web browser to the moment a Web site loads, your first impression often means the difference between a shot at a career opportunity, or being shut out. 

Given that you have probably used the Internet to do some research on a company or a person you will be interviewing with, it should not surprise you that potential employers are checking you out on-line, as well. 

Know that almost all of the potential employers that you have yet to meet in-person are forming opinions about you at the click of a mouse. Internet first impressions are not just influenced by your web presence, but also by how often you appear in a web browser and also the people you are associated with, i.e. those who show up as ‘friends’ on Facebook, ‘professional contacts’ on LinkedIn and those in your ‘circles’ on Google+.


Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career Planning.com. This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at Mary.Salvino@shaw.ca