Posts Tagged ‘online brand’

Tips for the Less ‘Out There’ Job Seekers and Career Networkers

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Jobseeking

executive job seekerWhile more outgoing people often thrive in face-to-face, ‘I’m here’ professional interactions, some of us prefer a subtler approach to making contact. The thought of attending a business networking event with teems of fellow attendees can be pretty overwhelming to those that aren’t so outgoing. And then there’s the daunting prospect of initiating phone and/or ‘coffee contact’ with someone we know or know of. It’s no doubt highly beneficial in today’s employment environment to network, network, network, but it doesn’t always have to involve picking up the phone or fronting up and introducing yourself with a hello handshake, followed by continual ‘remember me’ conversations.

“Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” (Jay Baer, Internet Pioneer & Best-Selling Author)

Use social media to advance, not dis-advance your career

Think we all know by now there are some negative aspects of social media that can tarnish your job prospects. For example, most prospective bosses are going to feel less inclined to draw up your employment contract if they’ve just spotted you on Facebook downing cocktails at the last Christmas work do, or if they’ve just read your latest rant about how someone at work has brought out your angry side. If you’re one of those individuals that more confidently engages via digital channels, just be sure to promote and represent yourself wisely. Always keep in mind that many organisations now trawl through your social media profile to better understand ‘what makes you tick’.

Focus on LinkedIn – the world-leading networking platform

As the more professional social media sibling, LinkedIn has delivered an abundance of career opportunities that were previously unavailable to many of us – particularly those of us that are less ‘out there’. Not only can we privately conduct comprehensive research on potential employers and networkers – as well as look up old workmates – but we can also initiate contact in a less intrusive, more considered manner. The numerous digital engagement tools on LinkedIn allow us to carefully deliberate our communications, including encouraging us to offer input and advice to others in our industry/network, to showcase our strengths and offerings without over-selling ourselves. Take a look at our article LinkedIn Proactivity to Reap Rewards for more insight.

Monitor your business relationships – don’t overdo it

Most recruiters agree that it’s not going to do your career any favour if you’re conveying desperation via persistent contact and transparent self-promotions. In addition to using LinkedIn and other social media to subtly highlight your skills, expertise and professional interests, online tools and databases can help you keep track of your networking plans and history. CRM systems will not only store all your critical contact details, but also enable you to monitor the ‘current state of play’ of each professional relationship (e.g. last time you met and/or last time you did work together).

Professional networking has been around for a long time, and has time and again proven to be a key component of someone landing their dream role. So if you’re someone who doesn’t want to have to really put yourself out there to procure such career connections, take the time developing an online presence and digital interaction routine instead. We’re not all extroverts when it comes to personally leveraging others to boost our job prospects, but we’re all capable and worthy of developing a digital profile that reminds others of the professional benefits we have on offer.

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Why ‘Unemployed’ Shouldn’t Be Your LinkedIn Branding

Posted on: July 13th, 2017 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Career Development, Jobseeking, LinkedIn Profiles

LinkedIn Profile DevelopmentRecent statistics validate LinkedIn’s reputation as a major recruitment channel on the global stage. Since going public in May 2011, its membership has skyrocketed to over 300 million, with two new users joining every second of every day. Yet despite clear indicators that we should all be on LinkedIn to boost our employment opportunities, there are still some online branding hazards worth sidestepping. In particular, if you’re joining LinkedIn for the primary purpose of finding work, it’s advisable that you steer clear of emphasising your ‘unemployed’ status.

“Don’t promote negativity online and expect people to treat you with positivity in person.” (Germany Kent, US journalist)

Some recruiters overlook LinkedIn’s unemployed

While few recruiters would openly admit this, it’s often been suggested that many professional head-hunters will only consider LinkedIn members currently in the workforce. This may seem a bit harsh, but factoring this potential online bias into your LinkedIn profile, including ways to work around it, is advisable. LinkedIn content strategies that could help downplay your out-of-work predicament include:

  • Listing voluntary work in your employment history (start thinking about volunteering opportunities if you haven’t already)
  • Listing any consulting type work in your employment history (again, start thinking about relevant opportunities if you haven’t already)
  • Listing entrepreneurial interests in your employment history (this could be a blogging routine and/or contributions you make to a NFP board)

Whatever you choose to list as ‘current’ employment status, ensure it highlights your desire to continue to contribute to society and/or the professional realm in some capacity, irrespective of whether it’s a paid and/or ongoing vocation. Although make sure it’s something you can verify as a legitimate professional contribution if questions are asked by a recruiter and/or other interested party.

LinkedIn also favours the employed

In line with the above – particularly having something ‘current’ in your LinkedIn profile’s employment history – LinkedIn algorithms have also been known to skip over or neglect the unemployed. This means LinkedIn’s search engines are less likely to offer you up as a potential candidate when others conduct an online investigation. Such search engine optimisation is therefore as essential as keyword optimisation to procure a LinkedIn profile that engages, sells and activates.

It’s commonly argued that those who treat LinkedIn more like a promotional tool – as well as a professional networker – are more likely to reel in and captivate recruiters and other online spectators. LinkedIn is no doubt a pivotal job-seeking channel at a global level. But it’s more about empowering and accentuating your career strengths, assets and expertise, and far less about announcing to the world you’re eagerly seeking work.

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Sarah Cronin Consulting has extensive experience in collaborating with job seekers to ensure their next chosen career step is professionally presented and successfully obtained. In addition to LinkedIn profiles, resumes and cover letters, we also design executive biographies, selection criteria, and other career material that ensures your career prospers. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs further.

How Clean is Your Online Brand?

Posted on: March 27th, 2017 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Jobseeking

online brandI recently had a jobseeking client who was desperately struggling to find work – and she couldn’t understand why. She’d never really considered the powerful influence of social media on her personal branding. Social media is frequently reviewed by recruiters to get a real feel for job candidates, the digital dirt on what makes them tick and how they’re likely to fit into the workplace.

Fact: “One in five employers uses social networks in their hiring process: CareerBuilder.com says one third of hiring managers rejected candidates based on what they found.” (ComputerWorld.com)

Once I’d done a Google search of my client’s online identity, in particular her Facebook account, it was pretty clear why she wasn’t getting anywhere with her job applications. I’d recommend to any client undergoing or about to commence a jobseeking journey that they give something like the Online ID Calculator a go, to better understand the brand image they’re conveying online. There are very few people left in the world today that aren’t ‘Google-able’.

What tools like this tell us is that we all should be continually pausing and considering what we’re about to post online. Whether it’s a Facebook message about how our day’s been, an Instagram photo of a great time had on the weekend, and/or a potentially polarising article we’re about to share across our online portfolio. Everyone experiences interesting and/or particularly challenging times in their lives, and just about everyone has an opinion on contentious issues, but it doesn’t mean it should be voiced or shared over the internet.

Adding to this, just about everything we post ‘up there’ (except probably your own website) cannot be fully removed once we’ve hit ‘enter’. If you put it out there, and it’s not password protected, ‘they’ including recruiters and potential employers can find it.

Some social media sites even have written policies confirming that your content officially becomes theirs once it’s been posted. For example, Facebook has an “irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license” (http://tinyurl.com/3vsglm).

“Our social tools are not an improvement to modern society, they are a challenge to it.” (Clay Shirky, US author, consultant and professor)

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In addition to resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profile development and coaching, and job interview skills training, among other services, Sarah Cronin Consulting has access to the latest tools and research to help clients establish a positive online identity. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs further.