Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Growth & Jobs | HR experts: Market yourself online and create job opportunities

Published:Tuesday | February 18, 2020 | 12:12 AM
Dr Sandra Palmer, chief executive officer and senior partner of Above or Beyond.
Dr Sandra Palmer, chief executive officer and senior partner of Above or Beyond.

Having a strong online presence is important, especially if you want to gain the immediate attention of job recruiters, according to local human resource experts.

“You want to have your best representation online, because everyone now has ready Internet access, including prospective employers and even your current employer,” Dr Sandra Palmer, chief executive officer and senior partner of Above or Beyond, pointed out.

Palmer said that job seekers should ensure that their profile is updated regularly. A key area to pay attention to is that your image should reflect how you want to be portrayed. Additionally, all of your information should not be posted online, and each post should be selective.

Post responsively

“You need to use common sense when posting. You would not want to go to a party and when you are half-drunk and dancing on the table … that is what is posted and then you have a job interview the next day,” she said, pointing out that this could have negative repercussions for that job interview.

Palmer informed that the profile picture that is used should also be of high quality. Taking a selfie in the bathroom and posting that image would not be advisable. She recommended that a professional photograph be taken for this purpose.

She also underscored that the profile should market the individual, as many recruiters go online to check out prospective applicants to see what kind of online presence they have.

Odette Baugh, human resource business partner at The Jamaica National Group, noted that one of the platforms which persons can use to market themselves is LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, with approximately 660 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Officially launched in 2003, the professional platform’s mission statement on its website states that it aims to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

Baugh noted that LinkedIn is an excellent platform for marketing one’s skills, as it can help you to find employment and build your brand, as well as garnering more clients, along with providing other opportunities.

“Your profile should be a reflection of who you are. It is not only your résumé. Include personal information, such as who you helped, if you are a volunteer,” she informed, adding that this vital information will influence persons to connect with you.

She underscored that your profile should be complete to effectively market yourself. She also said that LinkedIn is one of the top-five search results, which pops up with anyone’s name in an Internet search.

“You want to make a good first impression on headhunters; and you don’t want them to review your profile and realise that you make grammatical errors. Therefore, take time to polish your profile,” she advised.

Dr Palmer advised that LinkedIn offers opportunities for persons to include their interests. She gave the example of writing a blog, which will allow you to be seen as a content expert, and someone who is knowledgeable about specific subject areas.

In addition, she stated that the platform will allow you to make persons know that you are looking for job opportunities, as it also allows you to create your own adverts and post them on LinkedIn.

“We do executive recruiting, and we definitely go to LinkedIn to search and reach out to persons,” she advised.

“The Internet is a great tool which we didn’t have two decades ago. We should take full advantage of it and use it to put our best foot forward. If you are in transition, or you are trying to find new opportunities, you can say that it is the fastest way to get your information out to potential employers,” she advised.