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How Job Seekers Can Tell Their Story Online

Standing out in a sea of job applicants can be challenging. Use these tools to gain a competitive advantage and rise to the top.

Getting employers to notice your job application is difficult in the best of economic conditions. If you don’t have a great deal of job experience, the task is even tougher. Use these internet tools to get a leg up against the competition.

Turn to Social Media

LinkedIn is touted as the best social media tool for job seekers, but there are others. One of your connections on Facebook or Twitter may know someone who’s hiring, and the connection between you, however strong, may be enough for that person to refer you to the hiring manager.

On your LinkedIn profile, update your title to something that alerts people that you’re actively seeking a job. You could say “in transition,” or “searching for the right opportunity.” That way, anyone visiting your profile already knows you’re looking. LinkedIn has job listings as well, so check those out.

Without being overbearing, occasionally send an update on all social media sites asking for referrals for job positions. You can also connect with people who work at companies that you’re interested in, and, as you build relationships, ask them for advice on getting hired.

LinkedIn has another great feature, Answers, where you can show your expertise by answering questions posted by other users. The more ways that you can display your expert knowledge, the better the chances someone will see it and contact you about a job.

Spend More Time on Job Sites

Sure, everyone’s on Monster and CareerBuilder, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get more out of those sites. There’s a lot more to meta sites than just listing jobs. Both have Advice sections that can help you improve your cover letter and resume, as well as communities where you can get advice on applying at specific companies, find out what kind of salary to ask for and test your career skills.

Make sure to fill out your profiles completely. The information that you provide will let employers learn about you. Take competency tests that are available for your skillset, and include samples of past work, if applicable. Always update your data (contact info, job history, skills).

Resume Website

It’s important to toot your own horn when job hunting. Create a resume website that not only includes details from your resume but also helps tell your story: who are you as a person and as an employee? What kind of work environment do you thrive in? Sites like OPResume and VisualCV help you build a professional looking resume website that includes your resume, About section and portfolio. Link to this in any emailed cover letter so that hiring managers can quickly see who you are.

Blog

Going back to the expert information sharing: a blog is a fantastic way to show what you know to potential employers. You are a brand, so it’s important to brand yourself with your knowledge. Create a blog about the area where you want to find employment, and write about it regularly.

You can write about your observations in your field, share basic knowledge on the subject and write about case studies based on your past work experience. Share links on your resume and in cover letters.

Experienced or Not

Whether you’ve been working in your industry for 20 years, or have just graduated, these tips can help you find a great job. The key is telling the story of your passion for what you want to do. Even if you’ve never held a job in, say, marketing, if you read about it and strive to learn more, you can show employers that you are eager to learn on the job.

Read magazines, websites, books and blogs on your industry to stay up on the latest news. Follow people in the industry on social media, and engage in conversations with them. Attend industry events to meet people in person. All of your efforts will be rewarded with an amazing job.

Starting a Business?
Join Docstoc's 100% Free Quick-Launch Guide to Starting a Business! Curated Exclusively by the Editors of Docstoc