Have you ever Googled yourself? Maybe you’ve cringed at what you have found: you certainly won’t be the first!
These four subjects should be considered when thinking about how you're portrayed by peers and future employers:
- first impressions
- stand out
An outdated press release from an old role or a social media profile that’s seen from an employer’s perspective, rather than a friend’s, presents an image that is far from flattering.
The good news is that there is a sure-fire way that you can take control of your digital footprint and use it to advance your career. Follow these steps:
Why create a personal blog.
Having your own blog or website helps your professional image. “With your personal site, you can take someone straight to the blog and show why it’s so engaging and what sets your work apart.” - Angeline Evans, communications expert and blogger.
Studies have shown that when we encounter Google’s long list of search results we invariably click on one of the top five results. If you have complete control of at least one of these search results, then you have the chance to present the best possible image of yourself and create an ideal first impression.
It may be a blog that reveals your understanding of the latest developments in your field, a portfolio site that showcases your work or nothing more than a simple ‘About Me’ site, a personal website is the perfect platform to showcase your skills and accomplishments and will do wonders for your job search.
Whatever you decide to write about, having your own site places you in control of the message you send to employers and the material you give them access to.
"Blogging is good for your career. A well-executed blog sets you apart as an expert in your field." - Penelope Trunk, blogger
Your website also implicitly tells anyone that you are creative, tech savvy, able to write well, and passionate about furthering your career.
Keeping your online content fresh and topical with commentary and insights related to your industry or job specialism will demonstrate your knowledge on your sector and how in touch you are with current developments and trends. Producing regular content will also give you a chance to share your work on social media platforms and ensure your work is seen and shared by the right people.
“The currency of blogging is authenticity and trust.” - Jason Calacanis, serial entrepreneur, investor and blogger.
If you have ever been involved in the recruitment process before, you’ll understand how quickly applications fly in and how difficult it is for employers to filter candidates efficiently and effectively.
By using your website as a calling card to accompany your CV and cover letter, you certainly are more likely to be remembered and you’ll be giving recruiters a unique resource to enhance your application with.
What’s more, you are more likely to appear credible. You can demonstrate that you can write about your field, research material, and argue a point.
Knowing that employers are going to be looking at your website why not start writing about their products or services? It shows your interest, brings you to life and, if your online space is convincing, it places you at the top of that pile.
“Blogging takes place in a much larger and interconnected environment than most face-to-face discussions.” - Victoria Michelson, freelance writer.
Blogs are really a conversation. You interact with other ideas and, if the quality and timing of work is sufficient, others will interact with yours.
As with any networking conversation, a personal website can help you leverage connections with industry influencers and other like-minded professionals, and more often than not, these connections can create strong communities of interest.
In the course of blogging, you can begin to interact with the influencers and institutions that lead the way for your chosen field across the globe and can be far more effective than attending tedious networking events.
You can also try submitting guest posts to well-respected online magazines. Most online editors are always on the lookout for insightful content written by knowledgeable professionals and guest posting can be a great way to build on your online reputation and direct more traffic to your site as well.
Back in the driving seat.
Your own website can place you back in the driving seat and will allow you to control how you present your personal brand to employers. So why not start building a personal website now and see where it takes you.