Recently, my cousin asked me a few questions regarding his online presence. He’s aware that nowadays having and keeping a resume is a thing of the past and what’s crucial now is to improve your online presence. My answer to him was two-fold; the first part regarding LinkedIn and the second, his personal blog.
5 ideas to improve your LinkedIn profile
- Put your contact number in your profile.
- Write what you did in your last job. Be brief but specific. Don’t describe everything. Just put what you think was more valuable for the company.
- If you’re bilingual, create a profile in several languages in order to increase your chances.
- Polish your introduction so it says where you’re coming from, where you’re going in life and why should someone hire you. Don’t be afraid to propose your personal aspirations. Some of the best companies look for creative people with their own interests.
- LinkedIn has a “skills and expertise” section where you place keywords on the things you know how to do. Then, your contacts can validate that skill without having to write a long recommendation. Place a list of words there and then tell your friends which ones they should like 😉
5 ideas + 1 for your personal blog
- Find a cheap hosting provider and use wordpress. The installation is very easy. If you refuse to learn how to install a blog, you can buy a domain and point it to a free wordpress.com blog. I recommend wordpress because it requires less work and the templates are overall quite professional.
- Choose a minimalist theme. Search Free WordPress minimalist theme on google. Here are a few. The theme I use is this one and here’s another variant. Also, wordpress default theme is pretty good and I’d recommend you start with that one if you don’t want to go in too deep.
- The most important thing is that at first sight people know what it is you do. Place the same introduction you used on LinkedIn right below the headline. Mine is “Machines should work for you and not the other way around. So ever since I was a kid, I teach people how to improve their lives with technology.” –It can be improved, but I’m happy with it. Shorten that intro as much as you can, but don’t dismiss what you delete. We’ll be using that later.
- The purpose of a blog is to create authority out of nothing 😉 and for this, you need to project who you are: the guy who knows. Take what you deleted from the introduction and write a post.
My cousin works in technical support, so I suggested him to write a series of posts regarding the winning aspects of a tech support department. I bet you have two or three posts in you about how to improve your workplace. Write them down! Those will be your first posts.
The idea is that when people google something like “how to manage a tech support department”, your post will appear. When writing, think keywords; think on an article that anyone would look for. It’s very simple to structure that post: you write a two-line intro and make a list, just as I’m doing in this post.
At the end of 2010 I spent a couple of hours every day for almost a month and the result is what’s on the blog right now. Beginnings are always difficult because you’re rusty. But afterwards, you end up pulling out posts like churros.
Also, when starting you’ll feel cheap, as in “damn! what I’m saying sounds so obvious and it makes me seem like a used-car salesman”, but many times you’ll be helping people, or writing things that are interesting to others. Every time I do a post about “tools to organize your life” I feel like I’m not saying anything new, but it seems people do read them and surely no one notices how uncomfortable I felt when writing them.
- At the end of each post, write a short description of who you are. This is why there’s a wordpress plugin called: About author (there are dozens!). In this description (very short) you should write at the end “If you’d like to work me with me, you may contact me at:” and you can add your LinkedIn links or an email address. Don’t let them get away!
- WordPress allows you to schedule posts to publish them in the future. If for some reason you write two or three, don’t publish them in a row, space them out in time so it seems you write one per week.
This whole having a blog thing is crucial. Imagine if you’re looking for a job and the recruiter winds up with two candidates, one who knows her stuff and another who knows and has a blog about it. Which one do you think the recruiter will pick?