Your online presence matters

Google yourself. I dare you.

I remember Googling potential employees when their C.V.s hit my inbox. 95% didn’t make the cut because they didn’t have any online presence to back up their claims.

Sure, you can write x, know y and can do z — but where is the proof? It’s even harder when you’re in technology.

Yesterday, I found myself in my past interviewee’s predicament. I Googled myself and while things did show up, it wasn’t representative of what I can do beyond writing.

Transitioning from local jobs to remote jobs

When you’re applying for a local job, most people rely on your C.V. and how well you present yourself in person. When you’re applying for a remote job, the only background check they’ve truly got is your online trail, portfolios and public interaction history on major sites like Reddit (if you give them your username), Medium, Twitter, LinkedIn and sometimes Facebook.

If you’ve already got an online portfolio — that’s great. If you don’t, it’s time you boot one up and build on it. Getting indexed by Google can take time — and if you’re looking to go remote, it can take up to 6 months to build up your content and online representation of yourself.

Like anything in life, prior planning reduces the stress of doing when you get to it.

Your online presence is your public C.V.

As the online world become intertwined with real life, we often neglect our virtual presence and remain anonymous — or non-existent.

A lot of employers, both local and remote, are looking online as their reference to who you are, your skills and how truthful is the written presented statement they’ve got in front of them.

Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is — Chris Anderson

When we’re working, we often neglect our professional online brand because we’re in a safe zone. When we’re out of a job, the panic of the search eventually catches up on you — especially when you’ve got nothing to show for it. What you’re essentially doing is requesting them to trust in you — the complete stranger.

Your online presence is therefore much more important than you think. What you do, what you say, what you create, comment on, like and interact with all go towards your online identity. It’s the act of personal branding — even when you don’t think it is.

You don’t have be a freelancer

Invest in yourself. When you do this, you press the fast-forward button on your success. — John Lee Dumas

There is a misconception that you only need an online portfolio and identity if you’re in the freelancing gig.

The difference between freelancing and your regular day job is the length of time, contract for payment and quantity of employment. Freelancers are always on the lookout for a job while those in secure day jobs are not.

When you build your online identity, you’re setting yourself up with a contingency plan if your job happens to end for whatever reason. It’s like your virtual insurance policy for future work. It gives you options and mobility when it comes to job searching.

The state of work in the future

MySpace is like a bar, Facebook is like the BBQ you have in your back yard and LinkedIn is the office — Reid Hoffman

For the new generation of workers, our workplaces and spaces are become more distributed every day. Not only that, there is a lot more competition and applications than ever to any particular job.

There will also be a large group of people who are more qualified, more experienced and more everything than you. How you present yourself online will be a contributing factor towards getting that coveted callback and contract.

Setting yourself up as an expert online — whether it be through a blog, solid LinkedIn profile that is completely filled out (recommendations included) or active GitHub repo — having something is better than having nothing at all.

About Author /

Editor of Hustle Thrive Grow. On a quest to become a better human and documenting the journey in digital ink.

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