Monday, September 5, 2011

Job Search & Marketing Yourself in a Virtual World - Part 4

 Today, you are cordially invited to make a better virtual first impression!  As there are many ways to ruin your virtual on-line presence. Simply follow the tips listed below and you will be well on your way to a more professional presence on-line:

1)   Provide hyper-links to inactive social networking accounts below your signature and contact information in your cover letter. When you are looking for career opportunities, if there is a prospective employer who is interested enough to check out your Linkedin or Twitter profile and they discover that your profile is incomplete and your Twitter account either has zero tweets or the last time you tweeted was back in late 2009, this is inexcusable!

2)    Stop dancing the “LinkedIn two step”. When you send or accept someone’s invitation to connect, this is not an invitation to launch into your sales pitch. Think courtship not singles bar.

3)    Refrain from starting a discussion and then going MIA. Would you walk into a room, start a discussion and then slip out the back? If you want to be seen as a ‘professional’ in your industry, you will need to stick around and facilitate your discussions.

4)    Don’t stalk people.  When you ‘like’ everything and comment on every status update, it is just creepy.

5)    Curb your ‘need’ to flooding your Twitter Stream with irrelevant data: Live tweeting, twitter chat, rapid-fire tweets, Foursquare updates. Think value before you click send!

6)    Don’t ask for a recommendation from someone who accepted your invitation to connect said hello to you once.

7)    Never ask for a recommendation from someone by using the template.

8)    Lower your expectations when it comes to social networking and your job search.  Job search social networking is a long-term strategy.  A presence on social networks will show prospective employers that you are keeping up with social conventions, not necessarily that you are the most qualified for the opportunity.

9)   Include a photo on your social media.  Also, if you are not one of the lucky ones who looks like they should be on the cover of a magazine, invest in a professional make-over and photography session. 

10)  Use a tagline on your social media profiles that describes what you do.

11)  Join the professional organizations in your industry both on and off-line.

12)  Use a hyperlink in your signature when you contribute to an on-line discussion.  N.B. You should also include your phone number.

13)  Add value to those in your network.  When you come across an interesting article, share it!  If you know of someone who is an expert in the field, share that information, too!

 Have any other ideas?  Please let me know!

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 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