Market Yourself!

If you are looking to become successful in your industry, or gain notoriety, then you are going to have to market yourself. Your resume and references can only take you so far and there are more ways to market yourself now than ever...

The Internet has played a large role in the evolution of self-marketing, to the extent that there are multiple websites that have become standard in terms of your online presence. The most popular websites – among employers and prospects – are Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. If you have a personal website or blog, that may be looked at as well.

Linkedin is dedicated to the job market. It is a place where you can post your resume, network with others, hunt for jobs, and have employers find you. With Linkedin, your profile is your resume. It is up to you to make the most of it. You can also connect with your friends and co-workers to expand your network – when you do this, more people will view your profile. Employers are searching Linkedin more often now because it is a lot easier than waiting for potential employees to come to them. Another aspect of the site is the recommendations section – employers/former employers/references can write a testimonial about you for your profile, so when someone visits your page they can see how credible you are right off the bat.

Facebook is another great way to market yourself. Making connections on Facebook is different from those on Linkedin in the sense that Facebook is socially based while Linkedin is specifically on the professional side. Facebook friends typically outweigh Linkedin connections by a heavy ratio. Marketing yourself on Facebook can be done by posting content, keeping people updated with your current situations, and making more friends. If a potential employer looks you up and sees that you have mutual friends, then they can get opinions on you without even meeting you – so make sure you aren’t friends with anyone who would bad mouth you.

Although your Facebook profile is important, the media has blown Facebook out of proportion saying that employers check your profile to see if you are a suitable employee by scanning all of your posts and pictures – they don’t. Be aware that it has happened to some, but it is not a common thing. Most employers know that people live their lives how they want to, and don’t really care that you drink on the weekends. Most people these days, however, have their profiles set to private – so you cant even view it unless you are friends.

Twitter is another social media site where people connect with each other, but it is a lot different from the previously mentioned sites. Twitter is unique because it is crowded with tons of different accounts. Aside from personal accounts, there are businesses, organizations, clubs, joke profiles, and of course spam profiles. Following businesses and organizations can pay off, because a lot of them tweet their latest job openings on Twitter before anywhere else. Marketing yourself on Twitter is kind of tough but once you gain a following, you are in. Doing things like posting your contact information or a link to your personal website on your profile helps, but a trend that has been taking on is making your background image like a digital business card – complete with all of your contact info, website, Linkedin, examples of work, etc. it is pretty limitless (as long as it fits on the screen). This way, when someone visits your page, they can form an opinion about you without having to dig deeper.

If you have a personal website or a blog, then that is another thing potential employers will want to see – especially if you have created/designed them yourself. Personal websites and blogs are creative outlets, and people are interested in witnessing your creativity.

If you have been paying attention, then you probably realize that everything listed here can be integrated within each other – posting links to your Facebook, Twitter, and Blog on your Linkedin page, and vice versa – which will optimize traffic. The more places you are online, the greater the chance you have of people noticing. If you think about it, signing up on all of these social media sites is a way of marketing yourself because you are creating a presence online – now you just need the traffic.