Ever since you were a kid, you wanted to work in sports. You loved watching baseball games with your family, and you knew you belonged with your favorite team.

When you enter the workforce, you realize that finding jobs in niche industries is especially tough because they are highly competitive. You discover that when searching for work in sports you need something special to stand out from the crowd.

The best way to earn attention in your niche is by creating a strong online presence. That means more than just keeping your Facebook professional and adding a catchy summary to your LinkedIn account.

Let’s take a look at three things you’re overlooking when you build your online presence:

Managing Personal SEO

If you’re applying for a position with your favorite baseball team, the hiring managers are bound to search your name in Google. In fact, according to a 2017 survey from JobsInSports, 22 percent of employers say this is the first action they take when they get an application.

When you know the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), you can manage your reputation by pushing negative search results out of the higher ranks. Start creating content that shows your passion for your niche.

When the baseball team’s hiring manager searches for you, are they going to see how passionate you are about finding work in sports? Show them why you fit in their organization.

Sharing Your Expertise

Create content that highlights your passion, skills, and experience. Employers also want to see how you interact with the industry.

The JobsInSports survey found that 21 percent of employers prefer to see candidates who joined professional organizations, and 9 percent prefer candidates who have an industry-specific blog.

If you want to get into sports marketing, start a blog where you can comment on trends, dissect marketing campaigns, and demonstrate your knowledge of marketing and sports. Use your online presence to highlight your involvement with professional organizations.

In fact, the JobsInSports survey also found that 15 percent of employers say the best way candidates can show their enthusiasm for a niche industry is by attending industry events. Your professional organization helps you to stay up-to-date on them.

After attending seminars and events, share what you learn online. Document this on your blog and social media accounts.

Engaging Everywhere

The JobsInSports survey found that employers love job seekers who are actively engaged with their industry online. They prefer to see candidates who comment on industry discussion boards and forums (16 percent), share industry content on social media (12 percent), comment on industry blogs (11 percent), engage in LinkedIn groups (10 percent) and engage in Facebook groups (9 percent).

Start using your online presence to expand your network. Start conversations, offer your input on forums, and link to industry blogs.

When you expand your network, you may even earn referrals. As the JobsInSports survey found, 60 percent of employers say they give referred candidates more attention and consideration than other candidates.

Your online presence is crucial to building your credibility, expanding your network, and showing your passion to potential employers. This is the best way to stay competitive in niche industries.

How are you standing out in niche industries?

Heather R. Huhman, founder & president of Come Recommended, has more than a decade of public relations and marketing experience, specializing in media relations, content marketing, and social media. She is also a well-recognized career expert, an experienced hiring manager, and someone who has been in nearly every employment-related situation imaginable.

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