It is estimated that between 75 & 93% of companies use social media as a till when taking on new employees. Although the stats vary they are all in agreement that the vast majority of these companies regard social media as an invaluable tool. Not only are employers vetting candidates through social media but they are also advertising jobs online. According to Jobvite 73% of employers were looking at increasing their spending on social media in 2914.
We are all busy trying to make our online profiles as appealing to employers as possible. However, is this an authentic representation f ourselves? It is very easy to create a profile which represents the attributes that we believe are appealing to an employer. This is where sites like LinkedIn come into their own. LinkedIn prompts users to enter their key skills and experience and guides us in a way that they believe creates a profile that is an accurate representation of the people they portray.
It is not easy however to create a professional profile which is focussed at many different employment sectors. Therefore when we create our profiles we must tailor these towards the employment sector that we most likely envisage ourselves within. On the other hand if done correctly then it is possible to create a more open profile which can be accessed by all employers. As outlined by many and institutions, such as Hamline University, our skill sets and experience should be highlighted with a few key points from each and not a jumble of many points. This formula ensures that we make it easy for employers to find the information which is most important to them.
LinkedIn isn’t however the inky social media site from which an employer may form an opinion and as such we must look at how we appear on different sites. The graphic below shows how different platforms can be used to enhance our professional profiles.
This shows how we can utilise various online platforms to boost our professional profile but it does not address the issue of whether our profile is authentic or not. Aleks Krotoski writes about how ‘Facebook profiles and Google IDs are tied to a person’s real name and real connections, and increasingly to their activities across cyberspace’. This emphasises how anonymity is disappearing and how increasingly all our actions online are linked to our profile which creates a greater deal of authenticity.
Therefore there is a balance between how we want to appear and having an authentic profile by but this does not detract from whether a profile can seem professional. In conclusion, we must look at our online appearance and decide whether or not it is how an employer would like to view our profile.
Other sources used:
BBC. Job hunting: How to promote yourself online http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962
bizMsolutions. How to Convey Authenticity Online http://www.bizmsolutions.com/convey-authenticity-online
inspiring interns. Building your professional online profile http://www.inspiringinterns.com/blog/2014/04/building-your-professional-online-profile/
University of Southampton careers service https://coursecast.soton.ac.uk/Panopto/Content/Sessions/ea5babab-78a5-4a37-b8e2-94aaf8759c49/2caea677-5fec-4c1a-9ad3-70320d724655-e167944e-541f-48b6-b9be-95a050098c29.mp4?invocationId=a8d4c6a6-fda8-e611-80d1-0050569d644f