How to stand out online for all the right reasons

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Recently I was asked to speak at an event where University students from all over Queensland were coming together to connect with industry and find out about future job prospects.

I was asked to do a talk on a topic that I thought would resonate well with the students and I decided to present on ‘How To Stand Out Online For All The Right Reasons’.

Students in particular, but generally the mainstream population, still don’t seem to realise how important it is to be aware of what you are posting online to ensure your future employability. In a tough job market like this, it is even more important than ever before.

So if you are a student or looking for a career change (or a parent of a student that is driving you crazy), here are my top 5 tips I presented in my recent presentation.

1) CONSIDER YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT
Whether you like it or not, there is likely to be a lot of information available about you online. It is a good idea to see what the current state of affairs is like by Googling yourself and seeing what comes up. If you are like me, you may find there are other people around the world that have the same name as yourself. But what you are really looking for is how you present online. Is the verdict good, bad or otherwise, could it have any impacts on your future employment?

2) COVER IMAGE ON FACEBOOK
The images you use across your social networks, in particular those which people can see whether they are your friend or not, i.e. your profile shot and cover image are things you should consider carefully. Whilst you might find a stack of the beer cans that you drunk last weekend an impressive image to boast to your mates, your future boss may think otherwise.

3) GET A LINKEDIN PROFILE
You can have a LinkedIn profile from the age of 18. In my opinion I think it should be allowed from 16 years old when people are often starting to look for part time jobs and beginning their career.

LinkedIn is the number one recruitment tool in America and it is fast becoming the case in Australia. Basically LinkedIn is a resume online, but not only that, it is also a fantastic way for you to network with potential employers or even gain valuable work experience whilst you are still building your career.

Ask people to recommend you on Linkedin with jobs you have done – however seemingly insignificant, and utilise all of the other features of LinkedIn to maximise your profile. If you really want to become a master of this powerful business tool, check out our Linkedin training here.

4) LOSE THE BORING RESUME
In a job market like this, employers can get bombarded with pages and pages of boring word typed A4 black and white resumes with little to no design consideration.

Whilst I appreciate some employers are more conservative than others, there are some great tools that can make your resume look good online and therefore help you to stand out from the pile.

Have a look at a cool tool called Visualize.me. With your LinkedIn profile, you can connect it to Visualize.me and it will instantly create you an awesome looking online resume full of colour with an infographic like design.

A friend of mine in New Zealand that I introduced this free tool to let me know that she thought it was the very reason she was selected for a job. The employer commented on her hire, that she really stood out from the rest, and it was a very clever thing to do.

5) START BLOGGING OR V-LOGGING (VIDEO BLOGGING)
If you want to stand out online it is now possible to build yourself an audience and become the obvious expert for it through tools such as blogging and vlogging. There some fantastic stories online of teenagers that have been vlogging or blogging online since they were 9 years old on topics such as politics, to technology and fashion, and even better, making money from it. If you come to a future employer showing this acumen, and with an existing audience or networks that the business could leverage from, it could also be just the differentiator they are looking for. They may also find you online because of this activity.

6) START EARNING MONEY ONLINE NOW AND GETTING YOURSELF A RATING
Yes, that’s right. It is possible to earn money online even as a University student on sites like fiverr.com, freelancer.com (which is an amazing Australian success story), odesk.com, and others where you can get offer your skills in a variety of areas such as writing, editing, web designing, graphic design, bookkeeping and more whilst you are still studying.

On these sites there is a ratings system where people will say how they found working with you. Make yourself look good online by establishing an account, offering your services, doing a good job and ensuring you get good ratings. Who knows, you may do so well at the freelance thing, you don’t even have to go out and get a job!

I hope you found these tips helpful. I would love to know if you have any other great ways on how to make yourself look good online, for all the right reasons. Please share them below in the comments section.

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