I am always preaching to people that they should exercise all their options and to not rely solely upon point-and-click online job search efforts, which have a limited chance for success, if that’s all you are doing. You should avail yourself of multiple methods and strategies. However, I’ve never said nor suggested you stop your online efforts when, in fact, you should be doing many different things simultaneously.
Most people have a resume and many invest a lot of time to have a good one. But even those focused predominantly on digital means fail to use social media to its fullest potential. While I espouse the need for people to be proactive and hands-on in their efforts, you should not neglect the passive means by which others might come upon and find you. You must learn how to juggle your efforts; you have to multi-task.
There is little doubt that LinkedIn, as an example, is a good resource and currently the most popular social-networking resource on a professional level. Most recruiters and agencies use it as a primary tool and resource to quickly and effectively find potential job candidates. That won’t be the case forever and at some point something else will replace it, but for the moment I don’t see anything on the horizon.
It doesn’t cost anything to have a profile and I suggest that, if you don’t have one, to consider it. If you do, then it should be every bit as good, impactful and as detailed as your resume – frankly speaking, it should be identical to your resume. Many different professions have social media sites reflective of their market and business niche. I am in no way endorsing LinkedIn but simply using it as a frame of reference.
Many are nervous because, well, what if their boss sees it? And guess what, I’ll bet he or she has a similar profile. It is also likely they are listed and have a professional bio on their company website, so why not you, as well? I’m only suggesting you post a professional profile like everyone else and, if you are asked, simply tell them the truth -- you want to increase your online professional credentials. If you are still worried, then improve upon it in stages so as not to arouse any attention. Furthermore, if you have invested time in your resume, it makes sense and requires very little time to transfer the info onto whatever professional social networking website suits you, be it LinkedIn, Xing or any number of pages focusing on your niche market; there are also groups and associations for military veterans for social networking. However, resist the urge to sign up and post on too many different pages, lest you’ll lose track of all the places where your info is posted. There are exceptions, and some companies or organizations forbid their employees from posting online professional profiles, but that is usually due to security concerns.
I’ve long suggested you adopt a mindset by which you are always watchful for new opportunities, regardless of how secure you think your job is – today. But that is not the main point, which is, you are simply keeping with modern trends and that means you have an online professional profile. By the way, if your boss has one, does that automatically mean he or she is looking for a job?
I am not anti-corporate, but I am more pro-employee than ever, for the simple fact that we are all regarded as more expendable than ever – even though there are, as I contend, no expendable people. The days of companies looking out for and taking care of their employees is a thing of the past, which means you have to do more for yourself; if no one is looking out for you then who else is going to do it?
Increase your odds as best you can and this is yet but one small thing to add to a long list, which you can and should do for yourself. Do this not to replace your physical efforts but to raise your professional profile in conjunction with your other efforts.