Searching for that first job? Boost your online presence first!
Have you just graduated university? Are you currently looking for your very first job? Do you recently apply for internships during the holidays? Finding a job or an internship can be daunting; frankly, we all have gotten our fair share of rejection letters. Thus in this post, I’d like to share some tips to help you become more employable, which is through having an online presence!
Eighty per cent of employers ‘stalk’ you on Google – going through your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to see how accomplished you are as a person.
Employers get too many outstanding applications and even they don’t know who should be invited for an interview. To make a decision, they ask for wisdom on the internet.
So if graduating with your head above water is not hard enough, I hate to burst the bubble but finding your first job can be a nightmare. You might even feel like you’re hanging on to a tight line (hence, the image). But don’t worry, we all do. That’s why building your online presence is important.
Why existing online is not only important, but crucial
Back when I was in my undergraduate studies, I witnessed so many friends, classmates and acquaintances being unable to get a job. They have graduated with good grades from respectable universities, and yet they end up being a waitress for two years at Chinese restaurants.
What went wrong?
Although I was not actively searching for jobs at that time, the prospect of being unemployed even after a pricy education made my stomach churned. We have always thought that our degrees would give us jobs. The harsh reality is that they don’t.
We are overqualified; education itself is no longer enough.
So at the end of 2012, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne. I dreaded the months to come, thinking that I would be back to my parents’ house and rely on their money even after everything I’ve gone through. To my delight, however, I was able to get a job two months after.
What I did differently: creating a personal brand
I started blogging in 2010. At first, I wrote about random things, but over the years the blog developed into something more important – it becomes my personal brand.
Later, despite my constant refusal, I relented and used Twitter. Then I jumped in to LinkedIn and started to build my profile and connection. When I had enough followers, I created a Facebook page. And all these platforms give me a lot of job opportunities.
When it comes to putting yourself on the internet, I have finally learned that it’s no longer suffice to delete your embarrassing photos and videos. It’s not enough to hide what you did last weekend.
You have to create a personal brand.
You have to look from the perspective of your employers and think how your strengths benefit the job you’ve been eyeing on. You have to figure out what makes you different.
You have to be known for something.
Ps. On the next post, I’ll talk about improving your chance to score a job or an internship by using LinkedIn! Hopefully it can help you to get the gig you really want :).
Photo: Kristina Alexanderson, used under Creative Commons license
Marcella Purnama is a blogger and author of What I Wish I Had Known: And Other Lessons Learned in Your Twenties. Despite excelling in all things science, she went to study Arts and stumbled into writing. After graduating from her Bachelor’s degree, Marcella worked as a content writer at both nonprofit and corporate settings before throwing in the towel to get a Master’s in Publishing and Communications. She was a former IndonesiaMengglobal editor from 2013–2015. Read her thoughts at www.marcellapurnama.com.
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