In today’s international work environment, your online presence effectively acts as your resume.

Potential employers can find out more about you than even your mother knows with a simple Google search or by perusing through social networking sites. Creating and selling your personal brand is directly correlated to your online presence, and how it is perceived by others.

As a freelancer, I am constantly on the hunt for new contracts. Over the years, I’ve learned that establishing a positive and expansive online presence is the key to gaining the reputation and respect needed to land the best jobs. If you’re hunting for a full-time position, promoting your personal brand is even more crucial as hiring you represents an even larger risk to your potential employers.

By developing your online presence, you can help soothe that perceived risk and greatly increase your chances of being hired.

Cleaning Up Your Online Presence

The moment that I first realized the importance of my online presence was after being turned down for countless high-value contracts with no feedback or reason why offered. Finally, one hiring manager was blunt with me – his organization was impressed with my knowledge and experience level, but decided to pass me by after doing a little social network research.

Apparently my Facebook profile was just a little bit too unprofessional thanks to my younger, wilder days.

I immediately went through my social profiles and deleted old content which did not properly portray the image of me that I wanted future employers to see.

Give Them Something To “Wow” About

Realizing that my online presence was representing my personal brand, I started brainstorming ways in which to better market myself.

If an unprofessional appearance would cause negative reactions from hiring managers, I figured out that promoting a professional appearance would have the opposite effect. I set out to turn all of my social profiles and the rest of my online presence into something that would “wow” employers.

Instead of my social profile showing pictures of me chugging beers with friends, they now consist of professional images and positive statuses and updates. My profiles on job search engines were full of my top accomplishments, and I also worked to get my writing credited on well-known sites, providing authoritative references to my professional capabilities at the top of the search engine results.

Networking With Decision-Makers

Once I was able to create a well-developed online presence that portrayed me in the professional manner in which I was aiming for, I knew the next step was exposure.

I began networking with people in the writing industry. Because my time is a limited resource, I did not want to waste it making connections that would prove of little use – instead I aimed only for connecting with decision-makers in organizations that I would enjoy working for.

Just like product marketing, selling your personal brand means targeting your marketing efforts. You’ll end up with a lot better results by focusing your time on reaching out to people who will be the ones making hiring decisions.

Of course, instead of always having to contact the important decision makers in your industry you can allure them into contacting you.

Take myself for example.

What I did to get noticed was to join a few writing related groups on LinkedIn where freelance writers and business owners share their opinions and tips. I started participating on various discussions and I was also sharing my work so they could see my latest samples.

Since there were so many business owners participating on these groups and discussions one of my strategies was to always supply helpful tips regarding their content, sites and blogs. Then out of the blue a big company’s HR manager who found me via one of these LinkedIn groups sent me a message for a position in their digital marketing department and to make a long story short it turned into my current job.

One way or another, LinkedIn has helped me in getting the opportunity I’ve always wanted. If you’d like to attract top employers to your LinkedIn profile, check out Joshua’s LinkedIn Writing Service.

It just takes time, consistent action and expanding your contact base and soon the results will come to you.