Employers are realizing that what people do online can actually prove their value as potential hires. It shows that you are passionate about what you do. It shows that you would like to help others. It can also show that you know your stuff. I often find my book reviewers through their online persona -- i.e. blogs & forums. There are a number of ways to build your online persona.
- Building a LinkedIn profile. Many recruiters go to LinkedIn to search for potential candidates. More and more business professionals are using social networks to build relationships, meet new contacts, and market themselves. Joining a network like LinkedIn is simple, but turning it into a powerful networking tool takes a bit of time. Google "why use LinkedIn" to get started and for good tips. Whatever you learnt from the "Java/JEE Resume Companion" can be applied here too.
- Building your own blog. Blogs are about creating your own brand. Your blog should be informative, unique, and help others. You can get started with your blog at Blogspot, WordPress, WordPress eCommerce plugin. Here are some examples that I came across -- http://jenkov.com/, http://javapapers.com/, etc. With so many blogs created, here are some tips to market your blog -- Tips to market your blog
- Mentoring others at forums like JavaRanch forums. Also remember that by helping others, you will learn from others' issues and problems to fast-forward your career.
- Contributing articles and short discussions at JavaLobby.
- Setup a Google alerts on topics that interests you. As a custodian and author of your blog or website, you'll definitely want to be on top of news and happenings that interest you and your blog.
- Publishing books have never been easier with the advent of Print On Demand (POD) publishing companies like Lulu.com and CreateSpace. You will also learn on the subject matter by writing books as you have to do lots of research on it. If the book is good, you can also earn a small passive income from the sales. More and more people are exploring this avenue. Personally, I have sold over 12,000 copies of my book through a POD publication. You can't give up your job as an author, but you can learn a lot by writing.
- Building a programming portfolio to stand out -- Power of programming portfolio, How to prepare an effective programming portfolio?, etc.
- You can promote your books and services through Google Adwords, and include google advertisements in your block through Google Adsense.
You never know. With some clever ideas, you can open more doors and opportunities for yourself. You can turn your followers into clients or employers. You can meet influential and like minded people. You can also go places. Get that thinking cap on. I am currently working for an employer who read my books when he was a developer, and now he is an associate director, who hired me :). He climbed the corporate ladder not just with his technical skills but with great soft skills, getting things done with passion, staying visible, and great work ethics. I am starting to realize that there are things outside being a passionate Java/JEE programmer/designer -- Java/JEE Career Central