The rising popularity of virtual employment is opening new job markets and new job opportunities to workers. Virtual job fairs (see our previous post) are just one of the ways that employers and workers are tapping into internet opportunities to broaden their employment horizons. While finding a job online requires many of the same skills used in traditional job searches, the immediacy and broader reach of virtual job opportunities require new applications of those skills and the development of a few new skills.

If you want to position yourself to take full advantage of online employment opportunities, follow these tips:

  • Preparation is the key to any job search, but the easy access to information made possible by the internet places an additional burden on job seekers to manage the search results available to employers. Before you apply for a job, Google yourself — it’s the first thing potential employers do these days — and start taking steps to manage your online presence. Remove any potentially objectionable content from your Facebook page, blog and Twitter account and limit access to your social media accounts. Don’t hesitate to ask friends and family to remove any questionable comments or photos of you from their social media sites. Do everything you can to ensure that your internet image is the one you want to present to potential employers,
  • Beef up your internet presence. If you’re not already active on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook business and other online networking sites; it’s time to jump in with both feet. When hiring virtual employees, employers assume a high level of internet proficiency. Delivering what’s expected by demonstrating use and understanding of social media and online networking sites increases your opportunities for employment.
  • Build network connections. Follow companies that interest you. As in the brick-and-mortar world, getting a job is often about having the right connections. Start developing network connections by joining groups, participating in webinars and commenting on blogs to get yourself noticed. Request links and seek mentoring advice from people in your field.