5 ways to put your best foot forward online

With recruiters and employers increasingly using online career platforms such as SEEK Profile to find and reach out to potential talent, job seekers should take their online presence seriously, or risk missing out on great opportunities.

Follow these five steps if you want great opportunities to find you:

  • Be searchable. According to Matt Harrison, founder and managing partner at Hope & Glory Executive, one of the best ways to get discovered online is to ensure you are easily searchable by including relevant keywords in your online career profile.

    If you’re hoping to get a job in marketing and communications, for example, include keywords that a recruiter might use to find a person like you, such as ‘copy editing’, ‘direct mail’, ‘search engine optimisation’.

    Harrison says online career platforms, such as SEEK Profile use advanced keyword searches and applicant tracking systems, which means recruiters can quickly filter through hundreds of resumes and online profiles to find candidates with the exact skill set they are looking for.

    “If you have a great looking resume on SEEK Profile which highlights your recent experience and uses relevant keywords, you will really boost your chances of getting discovered. The more specific you can be, the better.”
  • Be open. The reality is if you have an online career profile, you are open for business and can be approached at any point by a prospective employer. One way to ensure you are found online is to make sure your online career profiles are set to the right privacy settings. For example, a ‘standard’ setting on SEEK Profile is recommended to maximise your opportunities by ensuring that employers can view your profile, see your skills at a glance, and get in touch with you for suitable jobs.

    Your personal connections are often the best people to provide you with referrals, so being open also means letting people in your network know that you’re looking for a job. Just make sure you don’t jeopardise yourself if you are currently employed.

    If you are actively seeking work and are not currently employed, then go right ahead and send out a strong message to potential employers by openly stating on your online career profile that you are ‘seeking new opportunities’ and posting updates on social media such as the types of roles you are interested in and suitable for. By being open you can help to make sure you are top of mind when recruiters come looking Harrison says.
  • Be active. In addition to making sure your online career profile is searchable and open, you can build your online professional brand by following industry thought leaders on social platforms, such as Twitter, participating in online conversations and discussion forums, and creating your own content, such as writing a blog.

    Having a great social media presence demonstrates your confidence as a communicator and as a connector within your professional community.

    Professionally, it’s important to be active online and this will become increasingly so as more organisations become ‘au fait’ with social media and its capabilities, says Harrison. In fact, some companies are using social media as a key part of the interview process. Jeremy Szwider, Principal at Bespoke, a revolutionary law firm based in Melbourne is one such company and he says social media is offering savvy candidates a new way to stand out from the crowd. According to Szwider, the initial stage of Bespoke’s clerkship recruitment process is a ‘social media interview’ conducted exclusively online.

    “Based on the strength of their resumes, graduates are invited to give us a taste of who they are and how they think by responding to blogs, updates and other posts. This ensures that we look beyond the numbers, education backgrounds and even work histories to find the most suitable candidate for the job.”
  • Be responsive. So, what happens if you are approached out of the blue about a job opportunity that you weren’t expecting?

    According to Harrison, although you’re not obliged to do anything if you receive an unexpected approach from a recruiter online, it’s always best to respond.

    “A good response if you’re happy in your current role is to suggest someone else in your network who might be interested. If you treat conversations with recruiters as an important part of your networking efforts, then it will be a win-win for everyone.”
  • Be inquisitive. Harrison says if you are approached on social media about an opportunity there really is no downside to having a conversation.

    “If a recruiter is reaching out to you, that puts you in a strong position. Even if the role isn’t what you’re looking for, you can still learn something from the conversation, whether it be finding out more about the types of skills that are in demand, what salaries businesses are paying, or how attractive you are as a potential employee.

    Remember, they approached you, so ask as many questions as you need to figure out if the role is right for you, Harrison says.
“If you have a great looking resume on SEEK Profile which highlights your recent experience and uses relevant keywords, you will really boost your chances of getting discovered. The more specific you can be, the better.”