Topic 3 – Reflecting on creating a brand.

There are a wealth of resources out there on the do’s and don’ts of creating an online professional profile. The tricky bit is making sure that you maintain authenticity when managing or creating these profiles. The discussion surrounding authenticity is what made this week’s topic so diverse, with blogs like Namat’s and Irinie’s offering interesting points on how to be authentic, while others not referring to it at all. A lot of the discussion I was involved in questioned the authenticity of both the employer and the candidate’s use of social media during the recruitment process. Other discussions, focused on the relationship between authenticity and how long the profile had been active.

Through reading other blog posts and their associated comments, I discovered that online profiles are not for everyone. Some people, like May, find that their profile propels them into the working world, while others, like Hayley, find it difficult to maintain a professional profile. Nonetheless, there seems to be a surge in employers using social media, yet this may be limited to specific industries.

Discussing the topic with recruiters from ‘Dorset Health Care’ and ‘Honeywell Engineering’, it appears that they believe it is more appropriate and efficient to assess a candidate’s skills during an interview. Interestingly, the recruiter from ‘Honeywell Engineering’ suggested that though he doesn’t believe in using social media to vet candidates, even if he did, his digital illiteracy prevents him from ‘social snooping’.

I have learnt that having an online profile can be a helpful resource in my future job hunt. Professional online profiles have numerous advantages, they act as a platform for individuals who cannot display their breadth of skills on a traditional CV as well as displaying personality, which might otherwise be lost on a CV, thus allowing individuals to promote their own personal brand. However, this topic has also highlighted the undesirable aspects of professional profiles and the amount of work it takes to maintain an authentic profile.

Comments:

Namat’s blog

Hayley’s blog

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Topic 3: May the tweets be ever in your favour.

Thought the job market was tough in 2014? In 2015 69% of recruiters expect job competition to increase. With the competition increasing, there is no time like the present to focus on creating a professional online profile. Recruiters are now looking further than your CV to identify talented candidates. A 2014 Jobvite survey indicates that 73% of employers plan to increase investment in social networking recruitment.

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How do you create an online profile that benefits your future employment? The most popular first step is to develop a LinkedIn profile, with 347 million members in over 200 countries it’s a great starting point (LinkedIn, 2014). However, it’s not the only online program and an effective profile should make use of multiple platforms- Facebook and Twitter also play a major role in recruitment. However, these social media sites are now being used to screen applicants, so it’s important to have control of your social networking profiles. David Timis has a great video which shows you how to establish your online profile, and how to use the important networking tools available on LinkedIn.

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You need to use the web to create a brand that makes you stand out. Blogging is a great way to do this and shows, in a professional context, what is important to you. Blogging gives you the ability to demonstrate passion, dedication, motivation as well as creativity (The Employable, 2014). A Google or About.Me profile with links to all your online platforms, allows individuals to connect to you efficiently. Maintenance is key, if you have a common name or find that your visibility on Google is poor, the ‘Vizability’ site could help. It’s important to be active on sites such as Google+ and LinkedIn, as they rank highly on Google searches (Snowden, 2011). The video below provides a great summary of online presences and highlights the importance of constantly changing and adapting your profiles.

Nonetheless, it’s important to be authentic, consistent and effective when creating your profiles. You need to create a profile that directs people to content you want them to see, ideally content which is a true reflection of you and your achievements (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2013). Remember that a bad profile can harm your job prospects or even cause you to lose your current job, as these employees learnt.

Remember, when choosing platforms to develop your professional profile, always consider the sector you’re applying to, for example the fashion and photography industries use Pinterest and Instagram as platforms to display their skills (Donnelly, 2014).

Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2013) The Future of You, Harvard Business Review Blog. Accessed: 05/03/2015

Donnelly, D. (2014) Building your professional online profile, Inspiring Interns Blog. Accessed: 06/03/2015

Eaton, K (2009) If you’re applying for a job, censor your Facebook page, Fast Company. Accessed: 05/03/2015

Jobvite (2014) Social Recruiting Survey.

LinkedIn (2014) About LinkedIn. Accessed: 06/03/2015

Snowden, G. (2011) The Rules of Social Recruiting, The Guardian Online. Accessed: 06/03/2015

The Employable (2014) How blogging can help you get a job. Accessed: 05/03/2015