Technology has once again provided job seekers a seemingly easier method for getting in front of the right people. However, too many people tend to think that something as easy as posting information online somehow also treats this as nothing more than a long instant message. They downplay the importance of the document itself.
There are two choices when choosing to have an online resume presence. You can do this yourself or you can hire a company / buy a membership with the new online firms that provide this type of employment service. These memberships are fairly expensive, but in turn, you do get expert advice on how to present yourself, and you also are presented to their clients as they search for applicants with your skills. Is the price worth it? In most cases, yes.
If you do choose to take matters into your own hands, there are certain things you need to consider before doing a thing.
Present Yourself as a Professional
You will need a URL – a domain name – to project a truly professional image. It is easier for the search engines to index and present in an employer’s search for candidates with a “real” URL rather than a free site offered by perhaps Yahoo. This type of site is fine if you want to share some family vacation photos, but it will never provide you with the professional look you need to find you the job you want.
When choosing your URL there are pros and cons of using your name. For instance, if your name is Barry Jones, you might consider www.BarryJones.com. BUT if anyone searches on your name (ex-girlfriends or even neighbors) you need to think about whether or not you want this information available to people who aren’t necessarily your target market.
Rather than your name, you might want to think about how employers will be searching for candidates. If they need software engineers in San Diego, you want them to have a good chance of finding your resume.
Obviously, proof your resume and make sure there are no typos. Don’t rely on a spellchecker system, either. Something like “sales manager” won’t show up! Rather seek help and advice from professional writing services. This is a smart move in the long-run.
Be careful what kind of personal information you put in there. Don’t put a complete street address – you never know who will actually have access to this in the public domain. A city and state is fine.
As for an email, it’s a good idea to establish a professional sounding email specifically for job hunting. Forget anything that sounds too random, immature, and unprofessional. Get an email that won’t embarrass you. Many websites even provide one email address that matches your domain name.
Since this document is literally available to the entire world – if they can find it – you don’t want to put the names and contact information for your references.
Concentrate on Content
With all that said and done, you now need to concentrate on content. An online presence gives you the ability to provide any and all relative information that will help you stand out from the crowd. You can add a portfolio of your work, videos, white papers, published works, and links to sites that you may have designed – anything that a prospective employer would be interested in.
Online resumes also give you the opportunity to add various types of contact capabilities. For instance, “click here to text me” or “I can be reached at xxx at Skype” is a good idea. You never know when someone might have a quick question but doesn’t want to actually have a lengthy phone call. This is just an extension of the standard rule “make it easy for employers to find you”.
Since employers who are tech savvy will be very impressed with a professional online resume, keep in mind that these same people also appreciate all sorts of technology that make their jobs easier – one being the ability to interview via a video cam. Let employers know that you have this capability and are willing to schedule this type of interview. These interviews are a great way to save time, prescreen candidates, and arrive at hiring decisions in record time.
After you do your resume, ask a few trusted friends how it looks. Is it easy to read? Does it present well in the most common browsers? Different fonts and spacing are needed online – don’t just copy the print resume you have. Whatever you do – don’t scan in your current resume and turn it into a web page!