We’ve officially left the era in which it was okay to be hard to find on the Internet. Can we all agree on that? The truth is, potential employers care about your digital footprint—and you should, too.
An online hub or portfolio is an invaluable piece of digital real estate—whether you’re gainfully employed or on the hunt for your dream job. The term “personal brand” gets thrown around a lot, and even if you don’t subscribe to the idea, it’s tough to ignore the power of taking control of your online persona and establishing your own unique voice.
The easiest thing you can do: Get started today.
Get a handful of photos you can be proud of.
I’m a firm believer in investing in headshots as part of building a strong presence online. And it doesn’t have to be a $200 photo shoot. Solicit the help of a good friend who happens to be good at taking photos, and schedule a half hour on a nice day to snap some in natural light.
These photos can be used across your social assets (this is especially important for LinkedIn) and are much more professional than a photo from Facebook that you cropped your sorority sister out of. Trust me: The ROI from these photos will be tangible.
Pro tip: iPhone and Android cameras are often just as effective as today’s point-and-shoots.
Find a site that works for you.
I’m a WordPress fan because it has a lot of bells and whistles, but if you’re looking for something a bit simpler, you may want to consider:
Each of these platforms allow you to make it “easy for people to find your content and learn about you,” according to About.me, offering options for people to connect with you on social networks and via email. It also helps that the information is presented in a really beautiful way that helps you put your best foot forward.
This is another place where those aforementioned headshots can come in handy—the focus of many of these sites is a large, statement photo that represents you.
Show ’em what you’re made of.
If you’re a writer, start a blog. If you’re a photographer, make sure your Instagram feed is hooked up to your site so that everyone has easy access to your samples. If you’re a graphic designer or stylist, you can also link to your more robust portfolios elsewhere—Vizify, GitHub, Behance and DeviantArt are good places to start.
If you’re a social media maven, include links to feeds you’re responsible for, news articles that have been written about your successful campaigns, or perhaps your SlideShare account that highlights a high-profile talk you gave.
Link your face off.
Cross-promoting your shiny, new site is imperative. Include it in your Twitter bio, your LinkedIn profile and in your email signature. If you’re still using business cards, include it on there, too.
Pro tip: Make it painfully easy for people to find you—your site can never be repped in too many places.
Commit to keeping it updated.
Nothing ensures you’re dead in the water faster than an outdated email address or a link to a blog that you haven’t updated in six months. Again, the effort you put into your online home base will come back to you ten-fold in the form of started conversations and job opportunities.