If it has been a while since you last renewed your personal brand in the jobs market, you may notice that the world of recruitment has changed and you’ll need to consider employer perception of your online profile.
If you are recruiting for your own business, your online profile may be the first thing a prospective employee looks at, while job seekers should be aware that hiring professionals view online profiles as part of their screening process.
Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn play an important role in building your brand when used correctly, your online connections tell an audience about your business and can also result in new opportunities.
Audit your profile
Firstly, audit and review your online presence. If you have existing profiles, refresh them or remove information that would not be suitable for your professional circles to see, and in some cases create a new profile. Review your profile objectively and ask yourself what your profile says about you or your organisation.
Maintaining your online profile
You profile needs to appeal to any potential business connection. For personal profiles, focus on supporting your own personal brand, consider if this reflects your professional image and highlights your key competencies. Steer clear of internal jargon on your profile and emphasise transferable skills that will appeal to potential connections. Always check your grammar and spelling and a professional photo will also improve your profile, people are seven times more likely to connect with you if you have a photo on your profile.
Consider your connections
Most people stop at creating their profile, but potential employers often go further and look at the quality of your connections, particularly if you are in an industry where a relevant network is important.
Connections on professional networking sites can show the value you can add to potential clients and employees, and can be a powerful endorsement of your reach. Make sure your connections are relevant to your business, such as colleagues, industry contacts, professionals you liaise with and recruiters.
When you receive an invitation to connect on any professional online network, check that person’s profile. We’ve all received invitations from people we’ve never heard of asking us to add them to our LinkedIn network. It’s wise to check their profile and if they do not work in a relevant area, ask yourself what you could gain from the connection.
Think of networking online as you would offline – you wouldn’t pick up everyone’s business card at an event, so don’t connect with everyone who asks online. It is equally important to connect with a recruiter, who is an expert in your field and who can put you in touch with the best job opportunities to advance your career or potential employees for your business.
The value of a positive online profile in career planning
Overlooking your online profile could leave you missing out on vital career and business development opportunities and you should not underestimate its importance. An online profile and network of relevant contacts ensures that when business or job opportunities arise you’ll be ready to take advantage of them immediately.
Barney Ely is the Director of Hays Human Resources
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