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With economies around the world recovering from the financial blight that slowed economic activity to a trickle, so too are jobs re-emerging from the ether. This doesn’t mean that the competition for jobs has eased, however. Here are a couple of tips on how to leverage the Internet to differentiate yourself from the job-seeking masses.

Deposit your resume with online job portals

This is the most obvious step, and chances are, everyone who’s reading this article has already done so. I won’t belabour the point, but do remember to set your resume as “searchable” so as to grant access to potential employers and headhunters. Certain sites also offer priority application services, but unless you’re in dire need of a job, I don’t see a particular need to lay out the cash.

Set up a personal website, online portfolio or blog

At the foundation of your employer outreach strategy should lie a persistent online presence – one that can be linked to from your various communications vehicles and accessed with 24/7 reliability. This should ideally take the form of a website that houses your resume, portfolio and contact details. You might even want to register a unique domain name to ensure that your URL can be recalled offhand. If you’re savvy enough to implement SEO, do spend the time to build it into your site architecture. The additional hits you’ll get from search engine referrals will be well worth it, and the experience garnered from the exercise may impress prospective employers. The keywords you should be gunning for are your profession and core competencies.

A quick – but no less effective – alternative to a static website would be a blog. Do ensure that the blog is updated on a periodic basis, however, and try your level best to stick to topics relevant to your area of expertise.

Across all of these platforms, be sure to integrate web analytics so that you’ll have visitor data at your disposal – numbers which can be used to bolster your status as a subject matter expert.

Forge connections via social networking

Mrs. Mario has written an excellent article on the ten best social networking sites that you could utilize to advance your professional agenda, so the best advice I could possibly proffer here is for you to read it. Pieces of advice I’d like to add are for you to take every opportunity to direct traffic back to your website, and to invest extra effort in developing lasting connections with industry peers.

Participate in relevant conversations and communities

In order to establish yourself as a subject matter expert, you’ll have to first ensure that your opinions are heard in the conversations that count. As such, do a little research into the key media outlets, forums and blogs that cover your area of interest and participate in the ensuing conversations as actively as possible. Once your reputation has gained some traction, start funnelling traffic back to your website, taking care not to over-sell the fact that you’re seeking employment. With time, your contribution to these sites will start to pay off in the form of referrals and recommendations from other participants.

Get published

Nothing creates credibility faster than getting your opinions published by a reputable media outlet, and the Internet has made this easier than ever before. Get in touch with journalists covering the relevant beats and offer to contribute information, articles, guest blogs and so forth. It may take a while to earn their trust, but given the highly competitive nature of online news reporting, journalists are now more amenable to listening to the views of well-informed experts such as yourself. Be sure to post copies of your published articles or quotes on your website, and publicize them through your social networking and community channels.

While there are many other tactics that could be employed to enhance one’s job prospects, I believe these to be a great starting point for getting a decisive edge over other job seekers. Do share your thoughts and additional ideas by leaving a reply below.

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