- Are employers searching for you online?
- What will they find out about you?
- Do you know the latest fashions for LinkedIn profiles?
In order to maximize your strengths and promote a strong personal brand, check out this article using the Business School concept of SWOT Analysis. What Are Your Strengths And Weakness – SWOT Analysis? What is your Unique Selling Proposition? Why Should Employers Hire you?
There aren’t any consistent statistics on how many companies are checking out candidates online; estimates vary from a low of 20% to a high of 50+!' The writing is on the wall and this level of 'snooping' or candidate research is on the upswing. At GSU, our career counseling team has spoken to many HR professionals and recruiters about this. Off the record, the majority admit that they do check out candidates' LinkedIn profiles and online reputation, especially before calling candidates for interviews and when recruiting Business professionals for key roles.
This trends is already in full swing. Job candidates are being recruited based on the '”online,” LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter contacts' they can bring to a company! This is no different than the 'book' or Rolodex of contacts from our father's generation - just that now the contacts are online. In fact, Best Buy pre-screens job seekers for social media roles, based on a having at least 250 Twitter Followers! This contagion is spreading beyond the borders of IT, CIS and Social Media jobs.
Thus, I advise my business clients and graduate students to include their LinkedIn URL address in the Header section of their resumes. (see my post on Resume Fashions: What’s Hot, What’s Not! (Part I). An online, LinkedIn address is becoming as important an 'address' as a home address.
In Accounting circles we refer to the top employers as the Big 4. In Social Media, Personal Branding and Career Management circles we now refer to the top online, Social Networking sites as the Big 3: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Companies are analyzing whether you are who you say you are and if your online image fits their company image. Your professional image is largely determined by what’s on your LinkedIn profile. Employers will Google you and vet your LinkedIn profile. Google yourself and find out@! What is your current online image? Don't have one? What does this say about you?
LinkedIn Fashion Tips and Faux Pas: What's hot and what's not!
1. Not Hot or Faux Pas: Many, many profiles still have spelling, grammar and punctuation errors on the main page. Also, people are still creating their LI page by copying and pasting their resume content. This is not recommended. LI has it's only style conventions, norms and protocols. Also, proofread your professional recommendations, before you accept and post them on your LI page. If there are errors, email the corrections to the "referral source" and ask them to resubmit it.
2. Not Hot, in fact useless. The standard, LI Profile completeness score is an empty statistic! Most people are easily fooled when they see a high percentage % of completeness score. This score reflects quantity, and shows that you have filled in some of the blanks. It is NOT a score which accesses quality. It is equivalent to turning in a 10 page book report after the instructor specified it should be 10 pages long. Do you deserve an A or 100% because it is 10 pages in length? Or is the content and quality more important than the length? I use a special LI assessment tool with my clients to really analyze their profile strength, identify weakness’ and build their site. This is essential.
3. Newly Hot: In the early days of LinkedIn 2-3 years ago, the majority of people didn't have photos on their profile page. The tide has turned, and most people have a head shot. An Avatar is not advisable and can be viewed with suspicion. Get a fresh, professional head shot and post it. If you are a brand, you want people to relate to you and without a product image - you - this is much more difficult
4. Very Hot: under the ‘Websites section,’ you can include custom titles and custom URL links. The standard titles: “My Company” and “My graduate school” are okay. You can create custom titles using the "Other” category of URL and provide more details. Again, this is all about standing out in a crowd and differentiating yourself.
5. Smokin' hot: create a Vanity URL for your LI address. This is just like a custom license plate for your car - only it's free! This will show people that you are in the know and are social media savvy. Don't just keep the random jumble of numbers, letter assigned to you. Pay attention to your online, personal brand!
More Career Fashion Blog posts: What's Hot What's Not series...
Cover Letter Fashions: What’s Hot, What’s Not!
Resume Fashions: What’s Hot, What’s Not! (Part I)
Resume Fashions: What’s Hot, What’s Not (Part II)
Author: © 2010 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Counseling Psychology,CPRP. Licensed Counselor. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist.
"Helping business professionals, reach their career potential!"
Sharon B. Cohen on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/sharonbcohen
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