As a contractor, you would already be aware of the importance of a professional brand. The same goes for your online presence. In the past, you used to be able to rely on your CV to represent your professional profile. Potential recruiters and clients now rely on your online profile as well.
Online profiles allow contractors to keep their details updated in real time, unlike the stagnant nature of traditional resumes. With the increased reliance on online digital profiles, CVs quite possibly have become a thing of the past. This is even more apparent when you consider how often employers won’t make a hiring decision based on a resume without looking up their prospect online first. It’s the online profile that is most often judged.
The Fair Work Act still rightly maintains a prohibitive stance on adverse or discriminatory action against job candidates, and this extends to information found on online social media and professional profiles. However, there are things you can do to ensure your online presence is an accurate representation of you as a professional and leverage your personal branding.
- First of all, get online in a professional sense. As a contractor, your personal brand is paramount. Having personal social media profiles is not enough to impress your professional brand in a digital capacity. Utilising professional networking tools such as LinkedIn can provide a first port of call for prospective employers, allowing you to put your best online foot forward and remove the reliance upon other social mediums like Facebook.
- Use the tool properly. LinkedIn has a plethora of best practice guides when it comes to setting up the content in your profile and getting the most out of your time spent on it.
- Let people know about it! Even the best set up profile is useless if people don’t know about it. Make sure your privacy settings on LinkedIn are open so you’re searchable. Customise your public profile URL so you can neatly add it in an email signature when you’re contacting those contacts about jobs. This also extends to connecting with your contacts and people you know in your professional network. Again, the more people know of your professional presence, the more you’ll get the chance to present yourself how you want to.
- Be active on the network. This doesn’t mean sharing pictures from your weekend or funny things your cat has done. This means engaging with your network of connections. Like an article someone has shared that you enjoyed reading, congratulate somebody on their new job or work anniversary, or even share insightful articles or news you’ve come across yourself.