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How to maintain a professional online presence

Keeping a strong online presence

Tips from Middle East job site Bayt.com on how to leave a powerful digital impression.

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August 21, 2013 4:10 by



Because the majority of employers choose the internet as a source for finding candidates, maintaining a visible online presence is essential for your career. However, developing a strong online impression requires more than merely monitoring the content of your Facebook or Twitter account; you must be able to prove your aptitude to a depth that supersedes what a CV or a job interview can demonstrate.

We’ve pulled together some statistics that show just how important it is to create the right online profile, with tips on how you can make sure your internet presence meets employers’ requirements.

For starters, according to Bayt.com’s ‘hiring management in the MENA’ poll, taken in August 2012, 50.5 per cent of employers say the internet is their medium of choice for seeking candidates and 84 per cent of employers will take the time to research candidates online before making a final decision.

How can you use this to your advantage?

Improve your visibility. If you’re searching for something – or someone – on the internet, you want it to show up in the first few results. The more top-page results you get when someone searches for your name on a search engine, the more visible you are. Try typing your name and location into a search engine and see what comes up and ensure these hits are appropriate to your desired job.

There are a number of ways in which you can improve your online presence:

- Make sure you’re seen in all of the right places. Where do the people in your industry get their information from online? Do those websites have forums, or comment facilities? Can you write a letter to the editor that could be published online? Find out how you can contribute. Even something as simple as providing insightful commentary on existing articles will show that you are interested in current industry issues, demonstrating that you have an opinion and are passionate about your cause.

- Do an internet search for the names of leading figures and peers from the industry you are interested in. See where their names turn up online and take steps to appear in the same places.

- Create a blog or website related to your industry, career and any relevant interests. Try employing Search Engine Optimisation to increase your page’s relevance.

According to Bayt.com’s poll, 29.2 per cent of employers say that finding relevant candidates is the biggest challenge when hiring for senior executive or management positions, and 37.5 per cent of employers want well-rounded candidates who demonstrate traits such as industry knowledge, a track record of innovation and technical excellence.

How can you use this to your advantage?

To get ahead in your career, you have to prove you’re capable in many diverse aspects, such as leadership, management and industry knowledge, to name but a few. While you can state these to a degree in your CV and discuss your various positive traits and progressive ideas during a job interview, you can benefit from building up an online profile that backs up whatever you say. The more proof of competency that you can offer your potential employer, the better your chances of employment will be.

Here are some tips for building up a profile that better demonstrates your competencies:

- Explore online platforms that allow you to engage with your industry peers. The recently launched ‘Specialties’ platform from Bayt.com offers this facility. The website allows members to ask and answer questions, and produces a peer ranking system that help its users demonstrate that their opinions are valued by others in their industry. Use platforms such as this to establish that you are knowledgeable, that you are keen to help others and that you have the sort of thought leadership that will benefit your potential employer.

- Think about how you can prove that you’re capable of managing a team, or that you can successfully manage a project. Voluntary work can be a great way to show these traits, while also demonstrating that you are passionate about your community and causes. Sustainability, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility are hot topics in the corporate world right now, so having this sort of work on your CV could differentiate you from the competition.

According to Bayt.com’s ‘hiring practices in the MENA’ poll from January 2012, 28.8 per cent of employers state that hunger, drive and ambition are the most important factors they look for and 67.2 per cent of employers will consider hiring a candidate who has relevant skills, despite having no direct experience in their company’s field.

How can you use this to your advantage?

Since the economic downturn, many professionals have found themselves having to seek employment in alternative industries that they have little to no experience in. While some skills transfer easily from one industry to another, sometimes a little extra is needed in order to make your application stand out against fellow applicants who do have experience within the industry. As the statistics show, employers are willing to consider candidates without any directly relevant experience – it’s just up to you how you make yourself shine.

Here are some ideas for how you can stand out:

- While this tip isn’t exactly internet-specific, you should customise your CV for each job you apply to. Make sure that your most transferrable skills are clearly visible and include why you feel your skills will benefit you in the position you are applying for. Write your application with your future employer’s needs in mind – be sure to really sell yourself.

- Have a look at the tips provided in the previous sections, many of them can be applied for you to demonstrate your keenness to work within the industry. Use platforms that can help you to show your thought leadership and understanding of where you want to be – getting yourself noticed for the right reasons is always a good thing.

- Network. Having strong connections across industries is beneficial and online platforms, such as the Bayt.com’s ‘Specialites’, allow you to share your thoughts and opinions with peers who share common skills with you.

- Being able to show that you are keen to continue learning will show your employer that you will do what you can to better fit in and understand your new industry. Taking certified courses in core skills and industry specific topics would help to build this aspect of your profile.

By Bayt.com



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1 Comment

  1. ammar9 on August 27, 2013 12:14 am

    bayt.com of the best job sites in the Middle East
    thanks

     

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