by Christian Arno
Marketing yourself online is a powerful way to extend your professional network. And, let’s face it, almost everything you do online is a form of self-marketing. Whether you are the name behind a popular blog or simply tweet once in a while, you are building an online persona that is often very public.
In fact it’s never been easier for recruiters or business acquaintances to seek out the clues you’ve left online about your attitude, interests, and skills — which is why managing your online reputation is an essential skill for job-seekers and entrepreneurs alike.
1. Take Charge of Your Brand
Successful online communicators think in terms of building a brand. They know that their reputation is not just online but also on the line.
It’s never too early to start creating your own brand. When you envision your online communications in this way, it will also remind you to present yourself at your best. Every Web-based interaction becomes an opportunity to promote your brand and enhance your reputation.
2. Get Good Content Out There
Don’t risk being judged on your Facebook status or some goofy avatar. A blog or Website can be valuable in promoting your skills. In fact, managing a quality blog demonstrates not only that you are a good communicator and can find your way around Web technologies, but also
3.Take Your Place on a Global Stage
If working internationally appeals to you, make your content accessible. Accomplish this task by creating your profile or resume in foreign languages. Professional input into this transformation is always a good idea to keep the quality high, but be sure to come clean with potential employers about your own linguistic abilities.
You can also make valuable contacts in other countries if you are willing to meet them on their own turf. Find out which countries are key players in your industry or network, and then join up for popular sites in those countries. Look out too for professional networks and discussion forums in which you can make valuable contributions. Impress the right people there — and you could find your way to a new career.
4. Make the Most of Negative Feedback
A lot of us fear criticism, but negative feedback can offer great opportunities. A CNN Money report showed that negative reviews inspire trust and can actually be beneficial for sales.
When what you are selling is yourself it’s natural to be especially sensitive to criticism, but don’t hide from it. Find out what people are saying about you (an alerts service such as those offered by Google and Yahoo! can help). Then seize the chance to respond. Prove that you are responsive, open-minded, and willing to entertain other points of view. If you’ve made a mistake, owning up and apologizing can do a lot to mend your damaged reputation.
5. Cultivate Valuable Contacts
We can waste a lot of time online trying to out-friend one another. Instead, why not seek out fewer but more relevant contacts. Having business leaders and respected names as part of your network shows you are serious about your career.
Of course, you will need to give people a reason to want to be connected with you. Remember, they too are managing their online reputations and brands. Help them out by making insightful contributions to their blog posts, for example. If you make them look good, they are more likely to reciprocate.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a provider of top translation services. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has more than 170 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. In the past twelve months, they have translated over forty million words for businesses in every industry sector, including the likes of MTV, World Bank and American Express. Follow Lingo24 on Twitter: @Lingo24.