Building an Effective Online Presence

Typepad wants you to put your resume online using their service – and in promoting this idea, they gave me the perfect starting point to say this: YOU CAN’T JUST STICK YOUR RESUME ONLINE AND CALL THAT A WEB PRESENCE!

Sorry for yelling but this is really important.

Click here to see what Typepad is promoting as a good use of their service to create a resume.

That is HORRIBLE! Not only is it boring from a design perspective but the resume is badly written. And there’s nothing more online than was in the original resume!. What is the point??

Just after I saw this, I stumbled upon this post about the importance of a LinkedIn profile. Yes! I agree! But then I read this:

If you are not the world’s best writer, hire one to help you. By that I mean hire a college student or put out an ad on Craig’s list or eLance to find a good writer. There are a lot of writers out there and a lot more of them than usual are probably looking for some extra cash about this time, with the recession and Christmas double whammy. It won\’t require a lot of cash either.

Put your future into the hands of an inexperienced college kid, or a writer who isn’t good enough to be busy?? NO!

This is my fear about Web 2.0 – the ease of publishing is deceiving. If all it takes to publish to the web is to type some stuff and the hit the ‘submit’ button, can\’t anyone do it?

Judging by Typepad’s example, the answer is no.

The truth is that writing your web profile is just as hard as writing a great resume. Just as with your resume, you should understand the needs of your audience, know your true value proposition and work to make every word of your profile communicate that message.

But with a web profile – especially on social networking sites like LinkedIn, there’s another layer to this. You also have to know how the site works for recruiters – how do they navigate? What do they see when they run a general search? What makes them choose to read one profile and not another? What persuades them to email you?

For example, on LinkedIn, recruiters see the sub-header that runs beneath your name when they run a search. If they’re looking at a page filled with these sub-headers, how can you make yours stand out? Can you say something other than “marketing manager.”? How about “marketing executive – specialize in integrated marketing targeting the youth audience.” If I’m a recruiter looking for someone with your skills, you can bet I’ll click through to your profile now. But what college kid would know to rewrite that sub-headline?

Don’t squander your job search prospects by just throwing up an unimpressive online profile or hiring some under-qualified person to write your profiles. Take your online presence as seriously as you take your resume … no wait … take it more seriously, because unlike your resume, you can’t just pull it back and make changes at a later date. What’s out there now is cached and out there for a REALLY long time.

If that’s not enough to scare you into action, nothing will!

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