How Your Online Presence Can Help Your Career

For years, the Internet has been seen as the the go-to place for messing around. Few people have taken the Internet seriously. However, as technology evolves, and as the Internet becomes an increasingly important part of our lives, the truth is that more and more Serious Business will take place online. And that includes your ability to land a new job to advance your career.

Even if you don’t work online like I do, the Internet can help — or even hurt — your career.

Start with Your Profile

The first thing you need to do is take a look at your online profile. Recent surveys indicate that 37 percent of potential employers check you out on social media as part of the hiring process. As the Internet becomes embedded in our lives, and as your social media presence increasingly represents your real-world life, it’s going to be important that your online profile match your offline persona. No longer can you be completely anonymous online — and you might not even want to.

Put together an online profile that is professional and consistent. If you want to help your career, your main focus should be on LinkedIn, along with a move to scrub questionable pictures from your Facebook profile (or at least lock down your privacy settings).

Your online profile should show that you are capable and thoughtful, and that you aren’t going to jeopardize the company with your online antics. Plus, your profile makes it easy for you to be found online. With employers increasingly searching the Internet for information on top candidates, you want them to be able to see you. Plus, you might even catch the eye of a recruiter or someone might find you and offer you a job, since the Internet is becoming a good place to look for people.

Share Your Thoughts

You can use your online presence to establish yourself as an expert in your field. From your insightful tweets to blog posts that can establish you as a thought leader, the things you share online can mark you out as an up-and-comer. You can use your online presence to raise your profile. If you do a good job, and your employer approves, this can lead to increased responsibilities and promotion. There is a lot to be said for someone who is visible in a positive way. Build your following, and you can boost your career — even if it means leaving your current job.

Keep it Clean

The flip side to sharing your thoughts is keeping it clean. Unless you are building a career on controversy, you want to stay away from statements that can seem insensitive. You also need to be aware of the way you talk about your employer and your coworkers. People have been fired for undermining their companies and bosses online. It’s important to carefully think about the way you present yourself. If you want to show yourself valuable as an asset, then you also need to show that you have good judgment about what you post online.

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.