Using the Internet: Create your Best Chance of Employment

In the modern-day job market having a strong authentic online professional profile is becoming, not only important, but in some cases essential. More often are employers taking to social media to search and scrutinise potential employees. Statistics surrounding employer’s use of social media and more specifically LinkedIn (the main player in employment social media) demonstrate how important it is, not only to be present professionally online, but to standout and shine (JobVite, 2014).

So great, employers are taking to social media, but what do you need to do? How do you stand apart from the crowd? And what mistakes do you need to avoid?

What To Do

First thing’s first, get a LinkedIn account!! As the statistics show LinkedIn is an employers best asset. This fact also makes it your best asset.

Once you’re logged in, you now have to consider what is effective and more specifically, what will work for you. The number one rule is to be authentic, if you’re not people will know (Sievers, 2015). The aim is to paint a vivid and authentic picture of yourself through your writing. The more authentic you make your profile, the more value your connections will have to you. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Be honest with yourself and allow your readers to get a feel for who you are. To do this you need to completely understand your goals, your character traits and your skill sets (Farris, 2015).

How to Stand Apart from the Crowd

Being on LinkedIn is a great start but as we saw earlier there are 414 million members (Statista, 2015), what is going to make you stand out?

Here are some tips from Forbes on how to boost your professional profile(s).

It seems the top tip is to be an active member of the online community. You get back, what you give! By engaging in a professional online setting, and demonstrating that you have an authentic voice that can be seen to be contributing, you are showing future employers that, firstly you have a unique voice with something to contribute, and secondly you have the ability to create and nurture relationships with others. Admittedly, this second talent will be more important to some employers than others, however, it is generally a good skill and will leave employers with a positive impression (Shin, 2014).

Another and arguably stronger way to set yourself apart, is to blog your way to success. That’s right, blogging is a direct route to highlighting your expertise, networking and engaging with people in your target community, and demonstrating that you are passionate and completely immersed in your chosen vocation (Collier, 2012). A blog can also be linked with your LinkedIn profile, in this way it can help provide a body of work which shows off your writing and language skills, and also your marketing and self promotion skills (again these skills will be more valued by some employers compared to others, it all depends on your target career).

blog-pro-2
Image by: Conseil Marketing

Mistakes to Avoid

So now you know what you should be doing, it is important to also consider the fatal mistakes that should be avoided! Watch this short presentation to see some common mistakes.

Although it must be noted that social media is becoming a more important tool in todays recruitment process, it is also important to note that it is not the only tool. When applying for jobs it is crucial to cover every angle, that is, still engage in the ‘so called’ old school methods of creating a great CV, speculative applications and even picking up the phone to call companies (which will leave a longer lasting impression than an email). If you manage to target job applications from all angles you will have a much higher chance of success.

References

Collier, K., (2012), http://www.jobsite.co.uk/worklife/blog-your-way-to-job-10444/ [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]

Davidson, J., (2014), http://time.com/money/3510967/jobvite-social-media-profiles-job-applicants/ [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]

Fairclough, H., (2016), https://www.haikudeck.com/p/12055177bd/social-media-mistakes-employment

Faris, D., (2015), https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-authentic-linkedin-debra-faris [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]

Forbes.com, (2014), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSPVHMoKFhU [Presented Online Video: Accessed 12th March 2016]

Geoff, (2014), http://wersm.com/top-linkedin-facts-and-stats-infographic/ [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]

JobVite, (2014), https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/jobvite_socialrecruiting_survey2014.pdf [Presented Online PDF: Accessed 12th March 2016]

Shin, L., (2014), http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/06/26/how-to-use-linkedin-5-smart-steps-to-career-success/#3439a8406292 [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]

Sievers, K., (2015), http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563215002368 [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]

Statista, (2015), http://www.statista.com/statistics/274050/quarterly-numbers-of-linkedin-members/ [Presented Online: Accessed 12th March 2016]

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Using the Internet: Create your Best Chance of Employment

  1. Hi Haley

    I really enjoyed reading your post, especially your point about blogging as it is something that is relevant to a lot of people, especially us on this course. Also I feel the haikudeck presentation you used really helped to explain some of the common mistakes people will make and what to avoid when trying to be professional and authentic online.

    You talked about being an active member and this was emphasised by the video in your post and I wondered why you think this is a good idea to make yourself stand out from others and increase your chances of getting a job if that is your ultimate aim?

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    1. Hi Sam,
      I am so glad you enjoyed my blog. I definitely agree that blogging is relevant to a lot of people, especially us!

      As for your question, I feel that by being an active member of online communities, people will take more notice of you. You are also demonstrating passion, the ability to actively contribute in a worthwhile manor, and the ability to engage and maintain professional relationships. All these attributes are highly prized by employers. They will also be valued a lot more if you can demonstrate them rather than just state that you have them. Do you agree?

      xoxo

      Like

  2. Hey Haley, great post! I completely agree with you that you can become authentic through your writing and that this can be achieved via having a blog. I found it interesting when you picked up on the point of being an active member of the online community to contribute your authenticity. Highlighting that it shows employers that you contribute and have constructive thoughts to share on a given work-related or industry-related issue. I had not thought of this when researching the topic for myself, however I can see the benefits and how it can only contribute positively to your digital footprint and enhance your authenticity. I also thought your post was particularly useful as you picked up on the fact that social media should only be used as a tool to aid the job hunt process, and that people should still focus on putting that extra touch on their CVs and getting in touch with prospective companies in ‘old school’ fashions still either by the phone or email because it is a rather new method of recruitment that has not yet 100% replaced the more traditional methods. I agree that a phone call does leave a longer lasting impression than a fleeting and probably unread email. Do you think that having a blog about the industry you’re interested in would also have a long lasting impression to your hypothetical employer? I think it would given that it adds to your online authenticity that you have a genuine interest in the job and its consequent market and that you haven’t just embellished your CV to make it look that way.

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    1. Hi,
      Yes I do agree blogging within your chosen field would have a lasting effect. It shows that you are passionate and able to contribute to your chosen field of expertise. It also serves to create an impact in interviews as it shows commitment and dedication showcased in your personal work.
      xoxo

      Like

  3. Hi Haley, the statistics in the Jobvite (2014) social recruitment article really interested me, especially that 94% of employers use LinkedIn for recruitment (page 7) – I knew the number was high, but not that high! The fact that 55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile, and 61% of these reconsiderations were negative (page 11), was a great example of how authenticity can affect your employability.

    The Forbes video added was very relevant, I especially agreed with its point about consistency and authenticity linking. This is something I touched upon in my own blog, so I’m glad you also thought this was worth writing about! Your further elaboration on how being an active contributor on LinkedIn helps your employability shows what you personally took away from the video, which was interesting.

    Finally, Sievers’ academic article was really effective further reading on research the theories and evidence behind authenticity online, especially the finding that engagement more with authentic profiles than idealised profiles!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Haley,
    Lovely post with some great links and videos. I like your tips for making a good online profile and the suggestion of using LinkedIn as well as the Forbes top tips – I found them really insightful! You made a balanced argument which is beneficial to anyone who may not know where to start or what they’re doing wrong. Additionally, your blog was very easy to follow and the presentation was really clear and to the point which I loved! You concluding point that online profiles should support our CV’s is a valid point as people get lost in the media hype these days!
    I only have one thought: with so much stress on what to post I worry that we have less opportunity to express the ‘true’ us in fear of messing up. I’m not suggesting we should be wild but I feel like these days we’re expecting everything to be viewed by potential employers even if it is our personal account – can we truly enjoy life and share it these days without being cautious? Eg a drunk night out on a birthday?

    Miss CEO.

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    1. Hi Miss CEO,

      I do see where you are coming from. I feel this is where being vigilant with privacy settings is important. It also brings up the question should we befriend colleagues online? It all depends on how you intend to use your profile, for example I wouldn’t post drunk pictures on a LinkedIn profile. Personally I wouldn’t want any horrific pictures of myself on the internet, but, to an extent we are at the mercy of what others put up and tag us in. However, we do now have the luxury of reviewing anything before it goes on to our personal feed. That’s not to say it isn’t still on the internet though. The take home message is to just be careful.
      xoxo

      Like

      1. Hey! I definitely agree with you with vigilance on social media, it can be the downfall of many people as seen in Justince Sacco’s case and others that are similar! Personally, I tend to befriend colleagues online, but just the ones I get on with (obvs). Although some are senior managers, I know that what I post will not hinder me although a few co-workers have been caught out by people using their FB to get them diciplined (eg when they see they’re ill but post a pic from the night out before). I believe you are free to do what suits you but know the consequences and be a good judgement of character. In terms of content, a drunk photo on LinkedIn will not be appropriate so I don’t expect anyone to make this schoolboy error! You’re final message sums it up! Just be careful!

        Miss CEO.

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  5. Hi Hayley

    Some good points here. I have serious doubts about JobVite’s survey – in particular the assertion that 93% of recruiters (not 93% of employers, which is a claim I’ve seen elsewhere) use social media in their recruiting.

    While I realise that blogs are, by their nature, a relatively casual form of communication, I’d suggest you do need to watch details like spelling and punctuation eg ‘first thing’s first’. Also, underlined text on a web page is traditionally reserved for links – use other formatting choices for headings and emphasis.

    All the best with your marketing!

    Elizabeth

    Like

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