The Online Presence: Are You Doing it Right?

the online presence

Everyone knows that in today’s economy, finding a job is almost as difficult as trying to find Big Foot. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that difficult, but times are definitely tough. You might also be aware that employers are turning to the internet to get the scoop on potential new employees. With this in mind, it is important that we are attentive as to what we put on the web. This not only means that we should be limiting the amount of personal things we share (like that photo from when things got a little too crazy at your BFF’s bachelorette party), but we should also be mindful about building a really impressive web presence. The competition in today’s job market is tough, so it’s important that we do all that we can to make ourselves stand out. Luckily, if done properly, the internet provides us with all of the tools we need to outshine the competition.

To help you accomplish this, here are some do’s and don’ts to creating an online presence:

Don’t share your personal information.

A lot of people express concerns when it comes to marketing yourself online. It’s reasonable to be apprehensive, but the key is to not share so much that it can harm you. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people use the internet to steal personal information from us. What you can do to protect yourself is be wise about the choices you make. Don’t include anything that anyone can use to steal your identity like your address, social security number, or date of birth. If it feels risky, chances are you’re better off not making it open to the public.

Don’t post inappropriate photos or posts to social media.

Think before you post! This may seem a bit obvious, but we don’t always use our best judgment. Everything we put on the internet is public information. Sometimes even things we think are private become public, so be smart about what you’re posting on social media. Avoid posting inappropriate or controversial pictures and posts that might cost you the job or get you into trouble. Always ask yourself, “Would this cost me a job? Is this inappropriate or hurtful to myself or others in any way?” If you even hesitate to answer no, chances are you should probably skip it.

Don’t stop using the internet to brand yourself.

Some might think it would be better to simply not have anything about them available on the internet. This isn’t necessarily true. You don’t want to become so hidden that you become the Big Foot in the job hunt scenario. Most employers will look you up on the internet and it will seem suspicious if their search comes up empty. Also, a lot of companies like to see that you are technologically savvy because they, too, rely on the internet for branding. If you don’t have a web presence, they’ll most likely assume you aren’t technologically capable — and that may hurt your chances of getting the job.

Do create at least one social media account.

It’s okay to have a Facebook or Twitter handle. In fact, not having some form of social media is almost unheard of. If you use your social media account to represent yourself as a professional, employers will definitely be impressed.

Do create an online portfolio.

You’ve worked hard to get where you are. Why not show it off? You can easily do this with websites like Weebly or WordPress. You can show off all of the work you’ve done thus far while proving you are capable of using digital tools. Plus, you can get creative and really stand out from the rest! They’re also easy to add to as your portfolio grows, and they save paper, making them eco-friendly. You can even share the link to your portfolio on your social media sites and, who knows, maybe it will fall into the lap of the right person.

Do start a blog.

Most of us have probably thought about starting a blog at one point in time or another. If you are one of those people, you should definitely do it. It will not only show off your creativity and your writing or research skills, but it will also show future employers that you are ambitious. With sites like YouTube and Vine, you can also show your ambition or film editing skills via video!

Do create a LinkedIn account.

LinkedIn is a great digital tool that is available with the few clicks of a button. This site is primarily used for professional networking and is an excellent way to make professional connections, show off your resume, and build your personal brand.

Now that you’ve got the tips, get out there and start building your awesome new web presence!

Photo by Sara Cimino

Student, dreamer, and doer. Lover of animals, books, oversized sweaters, and fall. Born and raised in a small town in Eastern Pennsylvania, I look forward to spreading my wings and traveling the rest of the world.