These days, it’s commonplace for employers to check out the digital profile of potential employees. If you’re in the market for a new job, or looking to get ahead in your current profession, it’s never been more important to ensure your online presence works in your favour. Luckily, it’s also never been easier to create an impressive digital portfolio.

Make no mistake; your employer WILL do a web search for your name. What will they find?

Your reputation is on the line

As our understanding of social media matures, we are learning more about the importance of protecting our reputation online. For ambitious professionals, this means ensuring you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, being active (but respectful) in industry forums, and keeping a professional and clean presence on social media.

But if a potential employer decides to Google your name, do you really want last year’s Facebook holiday snaps to be the first result?

The alternative is to secure your professional online presence by registering your own domain name under .com.au, .sydney or .melbourne.

Lead employers to a professional, informative, cutting-edge website, rather than a random status update. This digital portfolio becomes your online CV, showcasing your experience with quick links to companies or projects you’ve worked on.

Add testimonials from clients and industry awards. Blog about a recent training course or event. Forget that static headshot; why not introduce yourself with a short video? Potential employers can get a sense of how you will fit within their corporate culture as well as how well you can perform on the job.

Your digital profile will be the most current and up-to-date record of who you are and what you can do, making an exceptional first impression to potential hirers.

The job market has changed 

For many industries, the days of advertising positions in the newspaper are over. Word of mouth recruitment and headhunting are stronger than ever, with potential employers now able to search the web for the people they want, rather than waiting for those people to come to them.

You can use the power of SEO to your advantage, by creating a website that incorporates your name or profession and the city where you reside. Think www.johnsmithsolicitor.melbourne, for example, or www.sallyjones.sydney.

When recruiters go looking for skilled professionals in your city, a smart choice of domain name and a little SEO know-how will lead them straight to your online CV. A digital profile will also show them you’re tech savvy and keen to operate outside the box.

You have 10 seconds to grab an employer’s attention 

They say you have 10 seconds to grab an employer’s attention when they’re sifting through a pile of job applications. Getting smart about your online profile can benefit you in the recruitment process, even if you are also required to apply with a traditional CV.

Contacting potential employers with a personalised and professional email address, such as adam@smith.melbourne, makes a far better impression than an outdated or embarrassing Hotmail or Gmail account.

Approaching an employer via email is also an opportunity to link to your personal website. Let’s face it, busy people like it when you make their day easier. Save your potential new boss the time and hassle of searching for information about you by ensuring it’s only one click away.

There’s no need to rely on the monotonous lists of degrees and job titles in a traditional CV. Employers have seen it all before. Stand out from the crowd using the latest innovations in domain names and web development to make sure that when your new boss searches for your name, your website really delivers.

Image attribution: Resume – Glasses by Flazingo Photos, Licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0