Microsoft Learning’s year-long celebration of our first 20 years of certification—20 Years|20 Ways—is focused on creating better careers and better lives for IT pros, developers and students around the world. Creating a successful career can be complicated. But there are a few key ingredients to success that are true whether you’re looking for your first job or your next. One of those is having an on-line presence that impresses.

If your on-line presence needs a boost, give it a sure-fire spit shine with Way #13’s ‘Update to Impress Checklist’.

1.       LinkedIn: If you don’t have a profile, create one. If you do have one, make sure it’s current, and includes a list of your certifications or a link to your MCP Virtual Business Card.

2.       About.Me: Quickly and easily create a personal page. Big plus—ability to add eye-catching graphics.

3.       Personal Blog: If you have one, make sure your bio is current and points someplace where a potential employer can read all about you (e.g. LinkedIn or About.Me.)

4.       For MCP members:

    1. Go to the MCP Member Site.
    2. Update your profile. (This way you’ll be the first to learn about new MCP benefits…which sometimes offer other ways to help you stand out from the crowd.)
    3. Check your transcript—you worked hard for those certifications so make sure they’re all listed!
    4. Download logos so you can customize your biz cards and on-line properties.

It doesn’t take long to work your way through these three or four items, but the pay-off can be huge.

For more tips on personal branding on the social web, listen to the keynote address "Building the Brand of You!" by Stephen Rose at our 2012 Microsoft Certified Career Conference. To access to recording, visit the site and click on the "Microsoft Certified Career Conference" tile in the middle (login or registration required).

Do you have any other tips for making a great online impression? Share with us in a comment below!