Whether you know it or not, you’re always in the job market.
That’s because the idea of job security is fading.
There used to be companies that hadn’t had a layoff in decades. Now try to name three. With small companies, there’s always been more of a risk, especially in a dicey economy. Some people are leaving the traditional workforce altogether, sometimes by choice and sometimes not, for contract and freelance roles. (One report estimates that 40% of the workforce will be freelancers, temps, contractors and part-timers by 2020 [source: Intuit].)
The best way to weather that uncertainty is to regularly maintain your professional presence — not waiting until you’re out of a job and in a high-pressure situation.
The Art of Career Maintenance
Think of career maintenance as car maintenance. It’s easier to change your oil every 500 miles than to replace an entire engine after it fails on the side of the highway. The first way requires a little time here and there. The second requires immediate attention and high expenditures of both money and psychological stress.
You have the option of waiting until you’re leaving your job or it’s left you. But trust me, it’s much harder. Make it easier on your future self.
Some aspects of your online presence aren’t even possible to fix immediately — they take time. Your Google search results take days, weeks and sometimes even months to change. Yet almost half of employers use search engines to research potential job candidates [source: CareerBuilder].
Announce Your Presence
The key to great career opportunities is being present, both online and off. The more interactions you have with your friends and colleagues, from coffee dates to shared blog posts, the better your chances of being remembered for your skills and expertise.
It’s important to consider Quantity (filling in the blanks) vs. Quality (what you have is informative, positive and relevant.) You shouldn’t just constantly put things out there about yourself, but that’s a whole other post.
There’s some trace of you on the web, whether you like it or not. And while recruiters and hiring managers love referrals, 82% of them have eliminated referrals based on information they found online [source: Kredible™ research]. Your online presence is a big part of how you’re being evaluated professionally, even when you’re not actively looking for a job and even if you don’t want it to be.
If you want to know how far off you are from how a recruiter would grade your online presence right now, get a fast, free, career credibility Quick Check. We’ll look at 25 factors that hiring decision-makers use to evaluate you online. It’s not the full in-depth guidance you’ll need to make everything flawless but it will let you see how far off you are.
Here’s to your success!