Your online presence may now be the first impression you make on others. You can access information on the Internet about yourself and others more quickly and easily (for better or for worse) than meeting in person or speaking by phone.
How do you create the right first impression through the Internet to get a job? Think relationships, advocacy, authenticity, consistency, and inaccuracy.
The most effective way to start your job search is by developing relationships with people. The Internet, through professional websites like LinkedIn and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, allows people to start a dialogue with each other. Use this to your advantage to create opportunities for yourself. Word to the wise: Always personalize your invitations to connect. When you share with people why you’re reaching out, they’re more inclined to respond. Take the time to create the emotional connection with the person that the Internet sometimes limits.
Use the Internet to engage your advocacy skills. One of the greatest skills lawyers learn is to be an advocate. Online media provides you the opportunity to extend your reach, advocate for yourself, and show off what you know best. Take advantage of publishing platforms like LinkedIn or Word- Press to write about your work and what matters to you.
Whether it’s your website or your social media profile, make it clear to your audience who you are and your value proposition. Start with identifying your audience (think about discipline, age group, geography, and so on) and work from there. The more your contacts understand you, the more likely they’ll want to engage with you. That said, think twice about sharing information that might make someone hesitate to hire you, such as using unprofessional language or sharing personal information like political views. You want to be you, but you don’t have to share all of you.
If you use a variety of online media in addition to your website, make sure the information (such as your professional picture, title, logo, mission, and contact information) you present is similar across platforms. The more consistent you are, the better others will be able to understand and relate to your brand. Part of your brand is your story and values. People love stories.
Know what’s online about you that you didn’t create. Inaccurate or unflattering information may be published about you. Search your name on Google, and create Google Alerts using your name so you’re notified when something online appears about you and know how to appropriately respond. Judges no longer only sit behind the bench in a courtroom. With the Internet, we’re all judges who, with information at our fingertips, can make fast decisions about others. Managing your online presence allows you to present yourself in the way you want.