As a candidate in tech, you are most likely hearing from recruiters day-in and day-out. Are you hearing about roles that are relevant to your skills and interest? It’s easy to get wrapped up in putting every skill on your profile, but maybe some of those are attracting the wrong prospective jobs.
There are several factors in promoting yourself for the right roles: channel, telling your story, social proof, and activity. You can also do yourself a favor and meet your recruiter to solidify a long-term career advocate.
If you are a contractor or are actively looking for a new role, you should promote your work for people to see. Key channels include:
This is by far the most popular and best way promote yourself online in a professional sense. LinkedIn has a lot of great features that allow you to showcase your work.
- Work Experience – this is a given and should always be up to date
- Skills – you can add up to 50 skills, which are “searchable,” so it’s best to include skills you could interview for.
- Projects – it’s a good idea to include relevant volunteer experience. If you designed a friend’s website or have worked on any freelance projects, but don’t want to list them as ‘work experience,’ the projects feature could be a great way to feature it.
- Adding links and documents – under your work experience section, you can add hyperlinks to your work or add documents to supplement the description.
This is a great place to promote your code, if you are able to share it publicly.
Finding peers to bounce ideas and challenges off of is not always easy when your core skill set requires in depth knowledge and experience with specific languages or programs. Meetup is a site full of local events where you can set your preference on what you’re interested in, and then get alerts when new events pop up in your area.
Showcasing your work portfolio-style is a great way to attract potential employers. It also gives you an easy way to promote your skills and expertise, because you can include your personal website’s URL on your resume or application.
Telling Your Story
Just because you have a computer science degree doesn’t mean that you will stay in CS forever. Similarly, if you did not graduate with a CS degree, that doesn’t mean you cannot work as a programmer. Connect the dots for prospective employers by telling a story with your resume – more than just bullet points.
Start by ditching the objective statement. We all know the objective is to get a job. Save that valuable real estate for the meat of your work – the projects, responsibilities and employers you’ve worked with over the years.
If you started in an unrelated background, how are those skills transferrable to the role you are currently seeking? Paint a picture for the person reading your resume.
Social proof, as described by Andy Crestodina in Neuromarketing, is a great way to use psychology to influence buying behaviors. These concepts can also be applied to your job search.
Social proof can be exercised for your personal brand in the following ways:
- Testimonials – LinkedIn has a great testimonial feature. Since it’s coming from others, it’s perceived as more authentic than the way you may sell yourself. Also, they’re relatively easy to get because if you give one, people are likely to reciprocate.
- Endorsements – nice comments from around the internet! Not official testimonials but a little collection in a “smile file” can help you support your case.
- Shares – maybe not as applicable in job searching, but if you’ve ever authored a blog post or created some type of content that generated a buzz, definitely feature that!
- Trust Seals – certifications, memberships and awards.
- Number of happy customers – how many people have you impacted with your work? If you work in healthcare – you may have impacted thousands. Promote the reach and impact of your work.
- Statistics – how did you improve revenue, efficiencies, client satisfaction, etc.? Quantify your results.
Staying active on the aforementioned channels is important, but not everyone has time to maintain a heavy social/web presence. One tip to keep in mind is that if you don’t check a particular channel (for example, Twitter) you could write a note in your summary or somewhere on your profile to indicate a better way to get ahold of you. Leave one tweet that says “I do not regularly check this channel – catch me on mywebsite.com” and then you’ve created a digital forwarding address for yourself!
On the flip side, staying active on certain channels can certainly boost your credibility and visibility in the market. Identify the channels where you can gain the most traction and focus your energy there. LinkedIn is a usually a great choice because it has become the focal point for hiring, but maybe you find that Git Hub allows you to showcase your true technical skills a bit better.