Career Tip: Your Reputation Is Your Résumé

Disclaimer: This post was originally published in 2012. But! I firmly believe the tips shared are still relevant today. 

I wanted to quickly share some insight from last week’s MIT post on TechnologyReview.com which presumes today’s online presence is a bigger factor in securing a job than that dry, boring resume you send out. I completely agree that having a proactive strategy to showing who you are, what you do (or want to do), and your values in a creative way using the web is far more interesting and successful than cleaning up a dated resume. Personally, I’ve landed more gigs through my Flavors.me webpage, Tumblr blog and press features than through a resume email attachment. So can you if you take advantage of opportunities through the social web. 

The résumé is vanishing as a way of representing who you are. Jobseekers…are proving their value through participation in online communities, and employers are increasingly using those venues to find and vet candidates.
— Launa Forehand, Jobspring

One of the most important qualities as a jobseeker today is having a genuine interest in participating in relevant conversations. Find topics to talk about your passions, and connect with like-minded people. Those communities will do wonders for contact leads and resource exchanges. 

Being willing to share things you don’t know and seeking help in solving problems you’re working on are enormously powerful ways to attract people who share your interests.
— John Hagel, head of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge and coauthor of The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Made Smartly, Can Set Big Things in Motion

Ask, ask, ask. Never be afraid to speak up if you don’t know where to start or are stuck on getting to that next level. Just remember to be nice, return the favor, and know your boundaries.

I work with both young professionals and older-generation businessmen and women who need a boost of courage when it comes to making a digital footprint. The best advice I can offer is experiment. In the beginning, the online world is very much a trial and error system. One way to gain confidence is to map out a SWOT analysis: your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Discover a community of thought leaders, peers/friends/colleagues, and mentors around those questions to develop a support system. The more you contribute, the better your reputation.

Community isn’t just about relationships—it’s about becoming smarter and better at what you do
— Jonathan Reed, enterprise staffing consultant

As a community manager to over a dozen sites in recent years, I can tell you that the most successful communities have emerged through cultivating relationships. Providing intelligent conversation starters and encouraging feedback is one of the best ways to attract audiences, whether you’re a company or a single professional. Don’t abuse those relationships.

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