First and foremost, make sure that your online image is Google-ready. Most hiring managers will Google a job candidate at some point in the hiring process – sometimes before an interview. Google yourself and find out what happens. Make sure that content that a potential employer can access is appropriate. Use privacy settings whenever possible. Ask people to recommend you on sites that allow reviews such as LinkedIn and Guru.com.
#2. Make Yourself “Findable”
If you don’t have an online presence, you need one. Social media is a great way to quickly create an online reputation for yourself and build your personal brand. Most of the tools are free. Create a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook and Google+ page, join Twitter and any relevant professional networks or communities in your field. Even adding your name to a directory or commenting on a high profile blog can create new content for a prospect employer to find when searching for information on you.
#3. Join the Conversation
In addition to looking for job opportunities, you should be looking for opportunities to share your expertise. Consider starting a blog or contributing a guest blog to highlight your field of knowledge. Post updates in industry groups on LinkedIn as well as your home feed. Join conversations on Twitter. Tweet relevant info or commentary that people are interested in, and include hashtags where appropriate.
#4. Join the Group
Groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms offer more opportunities to connect with potential employers and colleagues. When you join a group on LinkedIn, you are often able to direct message members. This can be a direct line of communication to a hiring manager or executive at your desired company. In addition to groups, a single connection may be your gateway to the right job opportunity. Leverage individual connections to facilitate introductions to hiring managers.
#5. Actively Listen
Check out non-traditional job boards. For example, LinkedIn also has job boards inside group settings where only group members can post job opportunities. Seek out and follow recruiters (professional recruiters and internal hiring managers) on Twitter. Many often post job opportunities on Twitter first before sending out mass communications to their network. In addition, responding via Twitter may separate you from the ‘death by inbox’ syndrome that plunges many resumes into the email abyss. Follow hashtags (see #JobsAtLunch), and thought leaders in your field.
#6. Turn Online Connections into Offline Connections
Once established, take your online relationships offline. Participate in networking events, organize a Meet Up, take a connection out to lunch and ask for informational interviews to get some face-time with potential employers.