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How Tech Can Help You Build Your Career in 2017

Getting hired in a competitive field requires competitive measures. To stand out to employers, get creative with your entire online persona – within limits.

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Credit: iStock/Squaredpixels

Adaptable, precise, responsive, and reliable. They describe the ultimate employee and the ultimate machine. Maybe that’s because we’re becoming one with our tech. This year, make it your New Year’s resolution to make yourself stand out by putting smart tech tools to work like no one ever has, making it impossible for the higher-ups in your industry to ignore you.

Here’s how to gain a distinct advantage in the workforce by demonstrating your proficiency with technology.

Design a creative resume.

In today’s tight labor market, a carefully crafted resume can turn a job search into a salaried position. The good news is you don’t need a degree in graphic design to create an aesthetically pleasing curriculum vitae. These days, there are plenty of online tools with slick interfaces that let you instantly create a clean and compelling resume.

Apps like Winning Resume, Pocket Resume, or Resume Star allow you to select a template and just fill in the personal information that showcases your expertise and personality. But not all digital resume builders are created equal. Look for tools that support mobile-friendly formats and allow you to easily update your information. Resume Maker On-the-Go, for example, makes it easy for users to share their resumes and search for jobs from their mobile device.

Power up your LinkedIn profile.

With over 380 million members worldwide and available in more than 24 languages and 200 countries, LinkedIn is every worker’s passport to career advancement. But there’s an art to designing a LinkedIn profile that will attract eyeballs – or better yet, a promotion. So pull up your profile and put these best practices into place:

  • According to LinkedIn, adding a profile photo makes your profile 7x more likely to be found in searches. Consider spending a little extra money on a professional headshot for greater impact.
  • Create a catchy, keyword-rich headline to grab a visitor’s attention.
  • Build a robust profile with plenty of detail, including your tech skills, education, and industry accolades. And focus in on accomplishments, mentioning not just promotions or certifications, but also quantifiable achievements that show potential employers the measurable value you might be able to add to their organization.
  • Join as many groups as you can. Awaiting you are fascinating discussions, excellent contacts, and even potential mentors.
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn’s recommendations feature. Meaningful testimonials can carry far more weight than a certificate or degree, believe it or not.
  • Update your profile regularly so that it reflects your current professional goals and expectations.

Build a thought-provoking blog.

Blogs aren’t just for gossip mavens and political pundits. Rather, they’re digital calling cards – a platform for sharing information on everything from gluten-free recipes to robotics. But for those looking to boost their professional profile, a well-written blog can drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile or business website, establish you as an industry expert, and connect you to like-minded professionals. It can also set you apart from other candidates by demonstrating some of the skills, knowledge, and passion that won’t fit in a cover letter.

The best part: It’s possible to build a blog in less than 30 minutes on any smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop. For instance, open up your HP Envy x360 2-in-1, install an easy-to-use platform such as WordPress, set up web hosting, personalize your design, and begin publishing. Just remember: a blog is a digital representation of you and your views. Make sure what you’re sharing with the masses is a career boost, not blunder!

Design an online portfolio.

For the more creative types, a meticulously curated portfolio is a professional must-have. But forget about purchasing a leather-bound carrying case. These days, artists, designers, and writers are turning to online programs such Portfoliobox, Crevado, Wix, and Squarespace for templates that they can convert into online galleries and shareable e-books. No coding skills necessary. Rather, a high-performance laptop like the Dell Inspiron 15 is all it takes to log on and begin advertising your artistic prowess.

If you possess the skills and inclination, you can go even further and gamify your resume, or post a video resume on your site (or on a privately shared link). Some employers may not accept it or take the time to view it, but if they do, it could put you ahead of the pack. Just make sure it gives an impression of professionalism!

Get a handle on privacy and security.

The right tech tools can help you broadcast your talent, enhance your expertise, and raise your career credentials. But these innovative capabilities come with risks. Unintended audiences and ill-intentioned hackers can easily turn an innocent blog post or LinkedIn status update into a career killer.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize risks. For starters, use common sense. When blogging, consider how your published opinions reflect on your employer and whether or not you have permission to share certain information. Next, take advantage of privacy settings. LinkedIn, for example, lets you choose who can see your connections, how your profile appears in search engines, and whether your network is notified of profile changes. Facebook has similar options.

Similarly, WordPress lets you specify who can view your blog and gives you the option of disabling comments. Even the device you use to create your online resume, blog or digital portfolio can serve as a layer of protection. For instance, the ASUS T102 detachable 2-in-1 Windows PC, with its Trusted Platform Module (TPM), offers enterprise-grade security. And an Instant ID function lets you lock the device with the touch of a finger.

Get organized.

All these career-building exercises are bound to overwhelm. Keeping tabs on blog traffic, responding to LinkedIn messages, updating your online portfolio – they’re all time-consuming activities that must be properly managed for real results. A 2-in-1 equipped with Windows 10 has access to plenty of popular productivity and task management applications like Outlook and Evernote to help you stay on the ball as the New Year gets ready to drop.

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