Build up your online profile if you want to get poached

THERE was a time when all you needed to advance your career – other than a good work ethic – was a connection or two with a well-placed headhunter. Now the key is to develop a strong online presence too. The top City talent scouts have been tending to turn to social networking sites to help with their recruitment searches, and if they don’t find you there – or find you and don’t like what they see – then don’t expect to get poached.

One could point out to them that the internet is hardly the most reliable place for solid information, but there’s no point swimming against the tide. Get online and flatter to deceive with the best of them, via the new generation of mobile social networks.

On professional networking sites like LinkedIn and Ecademy, nobody was ever a mustard spreader in a train station burger bar. No, they delivered, er, steakholder solutions on a diverse range of platforms.

Reinvention, it seems, is the name of the game, so why not start your own social network. SocialGo is a new site giving out free accounts (initially) so that you can create your own groups. Why not create your own recruitment agency with you as the strongest candidate? It’s an easy enough system to use.

But once you’ve set up your own social network, with you at the head, you mustn’t rest on your laurels. It’s not enough to reinvent the past and over-promise the future on one site. You must relentlessly promote yourself. Don’t worry if this interferes with your work – nobody seems to judge you on that.

You’ll need to broaden your range of social sites. Obviously, Facebook is a must, but there are hundreds more. Viadeo is great for promoting yourself in developing markets like China, India and Brazil, and it’s also handy if you want to get headhunted for a European post. Meanwhile, 1and1.com gives you another domain, email address and professional looking online business card, all for £3.

You can coordinate all your online boasting sites at flavours.me, the easiest website for creating your own, easily manageable website.

Finally, you’ll need to monitor the hype you have created about yourself. Some tools are better than others for this, but Chatterscope and SocialMention are a couple of good places to start.

Nick Booth edits www.mobileb2b.co.uk