As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Today, people are consuming more content from their mobile devices, which means that content has to be easy to visually digest. When you combine this trend with the idea of creating a professional and memorable online reputation, why wouldn't you use some of the following tools to develop an impressive online presence?
Pinterest is hot. With more than 10.4 million users, Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site in history. There are many uses for this visual pinboard. It allows you to share photos, drawings, infographics, and more visuals, plus it will link to original content when sharing from websites. For career branding and job search, create boards to demonstrate your expertise, areas of knowledge, and interests. For example, you could create boards for industry infographics, news, and trends; must-read books; people of interest; work samples; clippings of mentions; and even your resume. But don't stop there. Make sure your profile is professionally descriptive and contains the right key words. Be sure to share your pins with your network and connections on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Pinterest users say it is addictive, so try it and see for yourself.
Infographics make data fun. Reading numbers, percentages, and other data can boggle the mind. Thank goodness there are infographics to visually walk us through the data. Creating them requires an analytic mind, unless you follow the simple tutorials which allow you to build them on Re.vu or Vizualize.me. If you are brave enough to create your own from scratch, try Visual.ly. Post these on your blog or website, then share on Pinterest and other social networks to give it legs.
Make a splash. Build a splash page containing links to your social profiles and website. It becomes a one-stop shop for those who are interested in learning more about you. Write an interesting bio, toss in a good picture of yourself, link to your social profiles and voila, you've created your page. There are a couple of tools out there to help with this, such as About.me and Flavors.me. Once you have created your page, you can include the link as a website on your LinkedIn profile.
Document your story. Tumblr is a wonderful way to build an index of what you are saying, doing, and sharing across other social platforms. Or perhaps you want to share the news on an event you were involved in or a professional conference you attended. Try using Storify.com to showcase online references to an event you attended or organized. Rebelmouse.com is a newer tool that pulls what you share on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and other sites into a single summary page. These pages become a single source for collecting what you are sharing and saying online, so be sure it is on-brand and professional.
Curate. Demonstrate that you are up on current events impacting your industry or occupation by creating your own online newspaper. Paper.li, Scoop.it, or Twylah.com enable you to specify the information you want shared on your newspapers. You can select news feeds, Twitter accounts, hashtags, and more and they update real-time. With minimal effort, you can build a collection of great content, worthy of sharing and catching the attention of others.
Building it won't ensure they will come. It isn't enough to just create sites with these tools. You can't sit back and wait for people to find them. Draw attention to them and share them with people. Are hiring managers and recruiters searching these tools to find their next great hire? The answer is, it depends on the industry. Your use of these tools is just another way of demonstrating current technology skills, subject matter, interest, and/or expertise and a bit of creativity. The real proof is in the delivery of the work you do.
Hannah Morgan is a speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice; she guides job seekers and helps them navigate today's treacherous job search terrain. Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa.