Recruiters and companies are getting savvier at gleaning information from these social networks to target the right candidate. "Build, maintain and nurture a great online presence/brand and opportunity will start knocking on your door," says Macpherson. Get your profiles up-to-date and professional-looking and your next job might find you.
Google or Bing yourself and see what comes up. Anything negative out there? Chances are HR people are going to do a web search before an interview just as you would do to find out as much information about a company you're interviewing with. Whatever it may be--stupid comments you made years earlier, a pending lawsuit, a bad picture--get out in front of it and be prepared to explain it somehow.
There are services out there that claim they can help clean up and maintain your online reputation. If you've had had a positive or negative experience with them we'd love to hear about it in the comments section.
"By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be a boss and work 12 hours a day." - Robert Frost
6. Build a Social Network
You've heard the adage "it's not what you know it's who you know." With the emergence of professional networking sites like LinkedIn and BranchOut on Facebook, there are multitudes of ways to grow your professional network. "Networking is still the #1 way to make opportunity happen and don't forget about face-to-face networking," says Macpherson.
With LinkedIn, for example, you can follow companies that you've targeted. Connect with people whom you've worked with or admire. There are plenty of industry leaders to be found on LinkedIn as well. Connect with and follow them. Join a group and engage in some of the conversation. It sounds like a lot of work and it is but doing so may be the proverbial "foot in the door" you've been looking for.
"For many people a job is more than an income-- it's an important part of who we are. So a career transition of any sort is one of the most unsettling experiences you can face in your life." - Paul Clitheroe
7. Improve Your Follow-Up Skills
"The right follow-up is critical--make it timely and professional every time," notes Macpherson. In a competitive job market like IT you don't want to leave things to chance. Improving your follow-up can help keep your name in the head of the HR people. Send thank you notes after interviews and exchange business cards.
Some experts recommend that after an interview that you should wait two to three weeks before checking back in with your contact. Maybe someone else will get the job but new positions open up all the time. Follow-up and staying in touch could land you a role you didn't even apply for.
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