Recruiters rely heavily on Internet search to source candidates, and they're using social networks as a sourcing platform as well. Using marketing tactics for your job search may not be as far-fetched as you think. You probably already realize that it's vital to establish an online presence to aid your search. Plus, some research shows that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Visual marketing is a hot trend this year, so doesn't it make sense to update your career portfolio to include visuals?
If you are seeking a job in a creative field, such as design, marketing or advertising, using visuals is an obvious way to prove your creativity. But even smaller companies and startups tend to look for standout candidates who can demonstrate multifaceted skills and entrepreneurial spirit. If you aren't using out-of-the-box thinking as part of your job search, you probably should be.
With so many tools available today to show what you can do, isn't it worth at least trying to incorporate unconventional techniques and visuals into your job search? These are some ideas to help spark your creativity:
Leverage LinkedIn as a Portfolio
Uploading the traditional text version of your résumé to LinkedIn is a no-brainer. But don't stop there. What other documents can you embed? Think about including samples of your work. Did you create a flow chart or process? Did you write a summary report or technical instructions? Did you design a form, logo or website? Any of these would provide evidence that you know how to do your job and offer proof of your abilities. You could also take a screen shot, video or link to your Behance portfolio.
Before you upload anything to your LinkedIn profile, be sure you think about the confidentiality of the information you are about to share. You may be able to remove identifying information or data. Or you could recreate a generic version of the documentation.
You can embed your document within the summary or work experience section of your profile. Just look for the blue paperclip.
Another alternative to amp up your profile is to use LinkedIn's publisher function, also known as a long post. It is essentially a blog post. By now, most LinkedIn users should have access to this. The long post is the perfect opportunity for you to answer the question, "Why should I hire you?" Here are questions you could use to write your long post:
-- What do you do? (job title or occupation)
-- Why are you qualified to do this job? (certifications, previous experience and such)
-- What industry experience do you have? (paid or unpaid)
-- What types of problems are you great at solving?
-- Who benefits from your work? (Who are your internal or external customers?)
-- What makes you one-in-a-million? (How do you do what you do differently?)
-- What inspires and motivates you?
Your published long post will appear immediately under the contact section of your profile, which is very visible to anyone viewing your profile. And be sure you use a visual in your long post to call attention to your content.
Slip Your Documents into SlideShare
SlideShare is a free service that let's you upload and share files via the Web. It is also a social network, which allows you to follow other users, comment on uploaded content and share across other social networks.
The main benefit for you is that it makes your files public and searchable on the Internet. What documents might you create and upload? How about the emails from customers, colleagues or managers that offer praise or recognition? Currently, you are the only one who has seen these words of praise. It is up to you to make the positive feedback public. Remember: This is your reputation.
Compile the testimonials in a PowerPoint presentation, or if you prefer, through Prezi or Keynote. If you don't have permission to use the testimonial, you can leave off the last name or identifying information. Add visual elements to your presentation, such as logos or pictures. Review, finesse and get feedback from those you trust and respect. Once you're satisfied with the results, create a free Slideshare account and upload your presentation. Be sure you title your uploaded document with your name, completely fill out the description section and tag the file with appropriate terms someone searching for your qualifications would use.
Testimonials are just one idea. You can upload an infographic résumé, flow chart, report or any other document you feel is worthy of public recognition. As an added bonus, SlideShare users will receive an email that includes the number of people who have viewed your uploaded presentations. Use this information to evaluate if you have used the correct keywords. You can always update your file's description or tags to help improve the results. Most importantly, don't forget to share your SlideShare documents as status updates on LinkedIn or other social networks so your network can check them out.
Hannah Morgan writes and speaks on career topics and job search trends on her blog Career Sherpa. She co-authored "Social Networking for Business Success," and has developed and delivered programs to help job seekers understand how to look for work better.
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