The obvious benefits we may think of the Web would be making our weekly shop easier with online groceries or binge-watching the latest and greatest TV shows on Netflix, but perhaps one of the most important aspects is the opportunity it gives individuals to share, present, or showcase themselves in an ever-competitive and increasingly-skilled workforce.
For example, Jobvite revealed in their Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014 that 69% of recruiters expected competition to increase in 2015. The same survey also states that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media to do so.
So it would be fair to say that without a good online presence you would be leaving yourself out of a wide range of opportunities, which is backed up in a blog post by Nik Nyman at Neil’s Recruitment, who says that “77% of all job postings are posted on LinkedIn and almost half of those don’t get posted anywhere else”.
I’ll now present some ways in which I think you can develop an authentic online profile and more than just that, make it stand out from the crowd.
LinkedIn is a purpose-built online resumé that you can use to display all the information that employers would need to know about you before hiring you: the things you would put on your CV like education, previous employment, volunteering etc. It is important to keep this profile up-to-date as potential new employers could be looking at any time, whether or not you have applied to a specific job. Below is a slideshow I created to demonstrate an ‘All-Star’ LinkedIn profile.
Twitter as a social network is of a different ilk to LinkedIn in that it is not built as a professional network but can certainly be used as such. To ensure your Twitter is presenting you in the best light consider using it to mix both your personal and professional interests. Post and interact with people and posts that are related to your chosen field to show that you have an interest and passion in current industry going-ons. If you feel uncomfortable with mixing your personal and professional opinions make a separate private profile for yourself where the public may not see your private posts the you still wish to post.
Facebook I consider to be a different breed of social media platform, although used by 66% of recruiters (Jobvite) in their assessment. My opinion is that Facebook is very personal and posts should not be censored as they may be on more public sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. This presents a problem of potentially compromising content working against you. However, the site has powerful privacy controls per post that many overlook that can ensure that you can freely express yourself within your private circles and make only the ones you choose publicly available.
Blogging/ Online Portfolio
The value of blogging has been shown by many people in their blogs and is perhaps one of the best ways to demonstrate to employers many different aspects about you. As this topics has been covered a lot I will not talk about it much but link to a very enlightening blog article from TheEmployable that in summary states that blogging suggests passion, dedication, motivation, creativity and as I mentioned about Twitter (a sort of micro-blogging) demonstrates a current understanding of a subject or field.
Something that may be most revenant only to those in technical fields is having a good rapport on sites such as Stack Overflow, a community of many millions of programmers who ask and answer questions about programming that is not only very helpful but allows you to showcase your expertise which looks excellent to employers. This follows the idea of ‘paying it forward’ which is good (expand).
Synthesise on about.me
To bring everything all together, creating a profile on About.Me acts like a digital business card linking to all the different parts of you on the Web.
Jobvite (2014), 2014 Social Recruiting Survey (Accessed on 13/03/2016 at https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf)
TheEmpoyable (2014), How blogging can help you get a job, (Accessed on 13/03/2016 at http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/)
Nick Nyman (2014), Using social media in your job search, Guest blog post on Web Science MOOC Blog, (Accessed on 13/03/2016 at http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/)
Featured image from Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Big_Four_29038u_original.jpg