Show & Tell: The Important Art of an Online Presence

You are online right now.  As you read this blog post, you will be probably spend about five total minutes online.  If you are an average young adult in 2014, this article will take up about 0.003% of the time you spend online this week.  If you read this article twenty-five more times today (which I certainly recommend), you will have experienced only half of your daily time spent online.  According to Ofcom’s Media Use and Attitudes report, which poled over 1,890 adults, the average adult young adult spends twice as much time online compared to ten years ago.  On average, young adults these days spend…get ready for it…twenty-seven hours and thirty-six minutes online per week.  In other words, you read this blog post three hundred and thirty times per week.

Employers know this.  In fact, I would encourage you to take a moment and imagine that you are the employer in this climate.  Imagine that it is your job to hire employees for a company that you love.  You know that this lovely company pays your bills, provides you with complimentary decent-quality coffee, and is a place where you spend sixty hours of your precious time every week.  But not only that, you also know that the success of this company depends on the people who work there.  Good companies employ good people.  It’s your job to go out and find a new person to spend sixty hours with you and your co-workers every week.  You take this job seriously.  After you wade through the thick stack of resumes, cover letters, references, and interview notes, you are left confused.  There are five equally-qualified candidates, and you don’t know who to choose.  Lucky for you, there is a wealth of valuable, genuine, and accessible data to help you make this important decision.  It is all online.
When you are one of the candidates in this situation, your success in getting a job depends on your online presence.  The purpose of this post is certainly to show you how to succeed.  However, doing so is nearly impossible.  Again, we spend twice as much time online as we did ten years ago.  There’s no reason to think that this trend will stop. We are in the midst of new territory and that territory is radically changing at an astronomical pace.  It is impossible for me to predict where your online presence will reside in five years, or how to optimize its content.  After all, LinkedIn, the largest business-oriented social networking service only went public five years prior to the writing of this post.  In following, I am going to give some tips for creating a good online presence today, however, it is imperative to know that the right presence today could be outdated in the near future.  Staying vigilant to these changes can make or break you as a job candidate.  In other words, take your online presence seriously.  One point of contact that might drive this point home is the fact that only four percent of recruiters don’t use social media in the recruiting process.

In terms of the current social media sites used, it seems that LinkedIn reigns supreme.  Eighty-seven percent of employers report using LinkedIn, while only 55% use Facebook and 47% use Twitter.  For that reason, it seems most important nowadays to discuss LinkedIn.  Here are 6 useful tips for using LinkedIn:
1.     Get your profile to 100%. 
a.     LinkedIn will point out what you need to reach the 100% mark.
2.     Have a professional picture
a.     Avoid picture with friends, graduation pictures, or anything unprofessional.
3.     Join a group
a.     LinkedIn is a valuable resource for showcasing expertise and networking with like-minded individuals.  Use the group feature to do these things.
4.     Be Professional
a.     You would think that this goes without saying, but don’t treat LinkedIn the same way you treat your Facebook.  Showcase your professional credentials.
5.     Use
a.     This helps newcomers to LinkedIn with tutorials and tips for everyone from novices to LinkedIn experts.
6.     Use
a.     If you are an Auburn student, you are part of a network.  Use this to your advantage and connect with the 102,000 Auburn Alums on LinkedIn.
Another way you might separate yourself from the pack would be to create an ePortfolio.  An ePortfolio is used to showcase your skills and experiences to your target audience (employer or graduate school) through the organization and display of documents, pictures, and work samples.  In other words, it’s your way to create your own personal website with items such as video recordings, work samples, and resumes.  Nowadays, making these sites is free.  There are many websites to help with this, including:
Also, you can use Auburn’s eResume resources at:     

Written by Ellis Bernstein

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