3 Ways To Boost Your Online Job-Hunting Bait

When people are considering hiring you for a job, one of their first moves is presumably to look you up online. Ideally you’ve anticipated this step of the screening process by selling yourself with an online presence that comes up prominently in a search of your name. Once you’ve got a prospective employer looking at your online footprint, you’ve got to make sure you make a good impression.

A LinkedIn Blog post suggests ways to improve your bait for prospective employers. The advice is geared toward boosting your presence on LinkedIn, but much of it applies to portfolio sites and online resumes as well:

* Summarize yourself. Highlight what makes you stand out from competitors and stay away from meaningless buzzwords.

* Say what you’re capable of. List your skills and accomplishments, backing them up with specifics rather than vague declarations.

* Make your previous jobs sound awesome. Stick to the truth, but don’t be humble. Underline your responsibilities and successes. If you’ve had jobs you’re embarrassed about and only held for short periods, leave them off as long as doing so doesn’t result in glaring gaps in your work history.

Simple steps to a complete LinkedIn Profile [LinkedIn Blog]


Edit Your Comment

  1. milty45654 says:

    And in other “news of the obvious”, don’t submit a shitty resume

  2. tungstencoil says:

    Sorry, but googling my full name and hometown will still return about 7 MILLION results… I have a *very* common name. I actually at one point had an employer tell me they gave up after a few hours trying to find anything about me online.

    • The Lone Gunman says:

      1,600,000 results for my very common name, with current city added as a limiting factor for results.

      I’m fairly sure that if I had any secrets, they would be safe.

    • tungstencoil says:

      I should add: none of them that I’ve ever found were me. Just realized I was implying *I* had 7 million posts about me :)

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        I have the opposite problem; I am the only person with my first name + surname in the entire state of Texas and one of only a handful in the entire country, so if someone googles my full name, the odds are outstanding that the result is me.

        There are definite pros and cons to it. It’s the main reason I never use my real name to register on any forum; even the e-mail address I use for registering does not contain my real name. I want to be able to speak my mind without a potential employer attributing every catty comment to me. ;-)

    • do-it-myself says:

      Same here. Searching my name won’t work for finding me unless there are more specifics put in. Only my LinkedIn shows up with extra specifics thrown in with my name search, which is congruent to the resume my potential employers would have ahold of anyway.

  3. richcreamerybutter says:

    Be as careful with LinkedIn as you would if using OKCupid for dates. A few years back, I received a very friendly inquiry for a job (“I found you through my friend…”), and ended up working for the small company. When I first started, I asked, “by the way, which friend referred you?” and he mumbled something incoherent. A month later, I checked our connections, and we had NONE.

    Fast forward a few months later, and I’d hired an attorney to collect back wages. Thankfully I recovered every penny.

    I also receive a lot of connection requests from “garbage recruiters,” but that’s a different story altogether.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      Me too. I get lots of connection requests from people with names like “Srinivasta Preeneethikandu” or some such nonsense. I don’t accept requests from people I don’t know, or at least have some plausible connection with.

      LinkedIn does have its benefits…I got my last job through a connection on it. Didn’t work out, but hey…paycheck’s a paycheck.

  4. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Ooh I need this right now. It’s hard to highlight accomplishments though, when you’re a peon. “I was the best phone answerer in the land!” Grrrr.

  5. echovictorecho says:

    I’m a technical recruiter. Couple things:

    – We see tons of resumes that leave us with the sense of NQTDA (or, Not Qualified to do Anything). We might get a sense of your expertise, but we won’t make contact simply because there aren’t enough clear action verbs on them, or not enough specifics about tools, technologies and/or methodologies used. “Managed software projects” is vague; “oversaw team of 12 Rails developers for e-commerce projects in Agile/Scrum SDLC environment” means I will be calling you.

    – Conversely, if you don’t have special skills or a solid history of work in your desired field, the onus is on you to talk about what you want to do and why. Believe it or not, there are entry-level jobs out there for new grads or mid-career “drifters” who’ve been successful in disparate jobs, but you have to make clear that your motivation and drive will make up for your relative lack of direction and focus. The “objective” section of a resume is really best used in these situations.

    – If we ask to LinkIn with you it’s because we (or a researcher at our company) have read your profile and want to talk to you about a job. If you’re not Looking, you can still send us referrals, and most of us pay bonuses (boni?) If you just plain don’t want to connect with us, we won’t cry…but take the attempt as a compliment. Trust me, at least one human being has seen your profile and taken interest.

    – Any recruiter or hiring manager who lies about your having been recommended is a jerk. That said, many referrers prefer to remain anonymous because they don’t want you to think they said you’re Looking. We have to respect requests for confidentiality when they’re made.