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Your Internet Presence And Networking Strategy - Creating A Marketing Campaign To Land Your Next Job

Aug 17, 2007
Your Internet Presence alone isn't enough to land a job when you find you need to proactively gain exposure to alternative employment opportunities. In order to maximize your exposure to career opportunities, you need to get your arms around one simple fact:

You're about to engage in the biggest networking and marketing campaign project of your life.

As such, you want access to every business card, contact and email address you've ever collected.

You want access to every tradeshow, symposia, conference, user group, relevant industry specific blog and website you can identify.

You want access to additional contact information via free and subscription based research services and databases.

You want to possess, ideally, ongoing memberships, and as a result - a working familiarity with professional business networking environments such as Ecademy, LinkedIn, et al.

Have you ever asked yourself:

Are there other networking sites that can compliment my networking process/needs?

From the people that make up the membership demographics, to the platform capabilities from which the members network, to the nature of networking conducted on the site, to the philosophy of the executive team that founded the networking site - all networking sites certainly are not equal. Each networking site has a unique capability which can be leveraged in a networking process in support of a specific or ongoing networking need/objective.

Many people make the mistake of being wedded to a single networking site, and get frustrated with their ability to accomplish their immediate and/or ongoing networking objectives. This would be equivalent to attempting to build a house, and use the same type of saw in every application requiring - a saw.

There is a reason some wise person coined the phrase: Use the right tool for the right job.

Just like some people have their favorite search engine, some people have their favorite networking site. If you really want to increase your ability to network, invest time in learning how to leverage the power of more than just your favorite networking site.

Don't think of other networking sites as competing with each other; think of other networking sites as complementing each other.

Develop a plan of attack.

The old adage of - those who fail to plan; plan to fail - is absolutely true in a proactive job search campaign. You can't simply focus on approaching recruiters. This was reinforced in Perri Capell's Career Journal article: E-Mailing Resumes to Recruiters Won't Generate a Big Response.

Create a balanced plan.

Reaching out to recruiters and hiring authorities/executives directly by utilizing resume distribution services and a desktop email campaign software solution should be combined with direct networking by leveraging professional business networking environments (e.g., Ecademy, Linkedin, et al.). This creates an effective job search strategy that will increase your exposure to more opportunities.

Make sure your plan includes investing time in personally branding yourself on the Internet and building an Internet presence.

If someone types your name (e.g., John Doe) into Google, are you anywhere to be found? Or quote industry leading personal branding consultant Cindy Kraft: Do you exist?

The easiest way to have Google find you is to write blogs. But it is actually a little more complicated than going out and creating a blog. You can go to a number of free blog sites and grab your own blog (e.g., Blogger, BlogSource, et al.), but that won't mean your name (e.g., John Doe) is going to return a hit on the first page of the search return in Google.

You need to be exposed on a site that is frequently indexed by Google, and has high page view numbers. Sites such as Ecademy are indispensable in this regard. It has an Alexa ranking close to 1500 (i.e., 1500th most trafficed site on the Internet). That is similar to the amount of traffic on a site like United Airlines. Google loves sites such as Ecademy because the content is constantly changing.

Look for sites where you can blog your brains out (e.g., Ecademy) and write articles (e.g., EzineArticles) on the topics you choose - all of which will be indexed by Google the same day you write it typically. In less than a month, and in some cases in a single day, you will show first page hits on Google when someone searches on your name (e.g., John Doe).

This is priceless from an exposure standpoint, and absolutely invaluable to a job seeker. Few sites can compete with Ecademy and EzineArticles with how fast you can personally brand yourself on the Internet. Google even indexes your Profile on sites like these, and there is virtually no limit to the amount of information you can build into your profile on a site like Ecademy, as compared to other sites like LinkedIn that only allow for a very limited profile.

That said, no one site is better than another site. All sites just don't offer the same capability as other networking sites. For example, at last count there are over 71,000 Staffing and Recruiting professionals using LinkedIn as a database of candidates. If your LinkedIn profile has as much resume information about their career as the character limited fields will allow, then the 71,000 Staffing and Recruiting Professionals in LinkedIn will be able to hit your profile when they are trying to identify candidates for their searches - let alone the remaining +6.5 million members who might want to network with you.

Just remember, one networking site is not better than another. As I said above, don't think of other networking sites as competing with each other; think of other networking sites as complementing each other. What you can accomplish on Ecademy from with respect to establishing a personal Internet presence can't be done on LinkedIn for example. Similarly, if you also want to expose yourself to 71,000 Staffing and Recruiting Professionals, they currently don't belong to Ecademy.

When seeking your next career opportunity, don't kid yourself; you are conducting a direct marketing and networking campaign. If recruiters and hiring authorities/executives don't know who you are, can't find you, and don't know how to contact you, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities to advance your career.
About the Author
Ron Bates is an expert in mission critical retained executive search. As recognized expert in building an on-line personal Internet presence, Ron has been referred to as "the most connected man on Earth" with +27,000 direct contacts on on-line professional networking platforms. Find Ron's blog "Internet Presence - Do you exist?" at http://www.search-advantage.com
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