Question: How do I market myself online?
Answer: With a stellar cover letter and resume.
Okay, so let’s get into the meat of this. You know that you need to market yourself, and you can do that with a stellar cover letter and resume. But, why is that so important? Let’s think about this. When you apply offline for a job, you are competing with a handful of people (usually) and right there you have a better chance to get called in for an interview. Online jobs you are often competing with hundreds, if not thousands, of other applicants for the very same position.
In the “real world” you apply in person. Therefore, you can dress for success and put your best foot forward. You can impress them with your presence and personality. Online you can’t. What’s your “best foot forward” online?
That would be your cover letter and resume – how you present yourself on paper. Your cover letter and resume have to show your skills and your personality; it has to be your presence.
How do you put your best foot forward with your cover letter and resume? A telecommuting employer (one who hires work at home employees) is looking for different things on cover letters and resumes then those offline. Let’s talk about cover letters first. If you’re not sending a cover letter with your resume then this might be one of the reasons you’re not getting hired. The cover letter is your VERY first impression. Take the time to show you’re very serious about the job they have open. See if you can find who the head of HR is, and address it to that person. Tailor your cover letter to that specific position.
This is optional, but I always put where I found the position (for example, “The position I’m applying for is Customer Service, which I found at XYZ.com”). I always did that even with offline jobs, but it’s not necessary. I think some employers just like to know where you heard about their job. This is especially helpful online because jobs get passed around and around online. It could have started out on a certain website and then ended up on hundreds of others.
Make sure you pay attention to the job ad. Does it say you need DSL? Does it say you will be working with certain software? Whatever the requirements, if you meet them, put that down on the cover letter. The employer will scan over your cover letter, and you want what’s on yours to stand out and grab their eye. If you have what they need, you’re going to grab their attention and that’s what you want!
Overall, you want to pay attention to detail, outline why you’re the best person for the job (without going on too long about how great you are), and point out that you have what is required for the job.