Normally when you apply for a job you spend some time updating your resume to reflect the job description. You also work to finesse a cover letter that links your experience and qualifications into a compelling story that will prompt the recruiter to call you in for an interview.
But in a connected world, this is unlikely to be the only touch point that you will have with your potential new employer (or agent).
If you have a LinkedIn or Facebook profile, a Twitter ID, a Flickr account or a blog, then you will also have a pre-existing record of your social and professional interactions scattered, yet searchable by Google. And ANY recruiter needing to hire someone for an SAP role will be pre-screening all applicants — you can bet on it.
And often the first port of call will be the SDN/BPX communities. Why?
The blog posts your write and the forum conversations that you contribute to all help employers gain a deeper understanding of you, as a person; and you as a member of the community. The posts that you write are then seen as a repository of your ideas and thinking – and the forums show how you can solve problems and collaborate with others.
So what does this mean for the job seeker? First some basics:
- Consolidate your IDs: If you have an online ID, make sure you consolidate them all under a single, common name/handle. Start with your name and keep it if you can.
- Own your own domain: Check whether yourname.com is available and register it.
- Complete your profiles: Your “about” page can be one of the most important pages on your personal web. Same with your Twitter home page. Make sure you provide enough “context” for visitors so that they get to “know you” a little.
Once you have the basics covered, you need to become active in the community in which you want to work:
- Participate in the conversation: Your new employer will be looking to see whether you can “walk the walk”. This is most clearly demonstrated by the content you produce, the WAY you interact with others online and the breadth of your network.
- Show your thinking: If you don’t have a body of produced work, make sure you put plenty of your “thinking” online. Don’t just rehash someone else’s work — think about what works and how it could be improved.