Reflection on Topic 3

I really enjoyed this week’s topic given it’s relevance for final year students like myself who are looking to kick-start their post-university careers, and interact with employers online.

In this week’s blog, I considered the benefits of firstly using LinkedIn to create a professional presence online and then looked at how Twitter is emerging as a social media platform which facilitates interactions with employers on all levels from companies. I provided a list of top tips which I had collated from researching further on how best to use Twitter and LinkedIn for a professional purpose and for the first time, I embedded a video into my post which I felt really clarified my discussion of why students should use LinkedIn.

Whilst I chose to look at Twitter and LinkedIn, the other blogs posts published by my fellow students have got me thinking on the importance of ensuring that our presence on other social media platforms like Facebook for instance, is  professional.

To this end, Sophie’s blog was really useful for highlighting to me the fact that employers are checking content we post on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter rather than just LinkedIn, which I was unaware of prior to this week.

Equally, Catherine’s blog demonstrated through her reading of the PotentialPark Survey (2011) recognised that authentic professional profiles are expected to happen on LinkedIn, but in fact, Facebook is where this actually happens. Which again stressed the importance of a professional Facebook profile to me!

Anna’s blog was also very helpful in clarifying what constitutes an authentic online profile and her use of Prezi was original and easy to follow. Her question ‘have you ever googled yourself?’ encouraged me to do just that and really underlined the importance of creating positive ‘google juice’. This coupled with my own findings that “80% of employers Google job seekers before inviting them into an interview!” bought home the importance of creating a professional online presence.

All in all, this week’s topic has been extremely topical (excuse the pun), but has truly shown me how I can best make my online presence professional and hopefully successfully interact with employers.

My comments:

Freya’s blog: http://freyamumby.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/expression-and-connection-the-key-to-developing-an-authentic-profile/comment-page-1/#comment-33

Anna’s blog: http://annakentmuller.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/how-to-create-an-authentic-online-presence/#comments

 

Developing a professional online profile

Today more than ever, it is vital that we have a professional online presence given that

“80% of employers Google job seekers before inviting them into an interview!” (Joyce, 2014)

This percentage certainly shocked me and got me thinking, what is the best way to create an authentic professional online presence and self-brand ourselves to attract potential employers…

So let’s start with the most obvious platform to attract, interact and connect with millions of professionals  : LinkedIn. An article on the Guardian aimed at students explains that ‘a LinkedIn profile is your chance to build a positive online presence for yourself,’ (Burch, 2013) and this is where I personally started when creating my own professional identity.

The video below produced by LinkedIn succinctly summarises how to use the platform to successfully network with professionals in your desired field of work… and humorously reminds us that LinkedIn is not just for old people with heavy briefcases

But is LinkedIn the Best and Only option for creating a professional presence?

Twitter also acts as the perfect platform to connect and engage with companies and industry figures. Twitter is ideal for interacting with companies you are interested in, as its ‘openness…shocases your talents, personality, style and interests'(Hartwig,2013). I personally use Twitter to follow PR and Marketing companies as I am interested in these industries and really appreciate the fact that you can engage with anyone on any level (from intern to CEO) at the company – it’s so vital to build up a rapport!

Moreover, Twitters’ new format and extra features such as pinned Tweets and Best Tweets allow job seekers to paint a more accurate picture of their ‘professionalism, skills sets and interests’ (Le Viet, 2014) and it is understandably emerging as one of the best social networks for both the creation of a professional online profile and for job searching.

Mashable

Twitter redesign aids job seekers, Mashable 2014

Here are some top tips for creating a professional online profile:

LinkedIn:

  • Showcase what makes YOU special
  • Have an updated profile with all your relevant experience
  • Include a professional photo
  • Connect to others with a purpose (Steimle, 2013)
  • Share regularly and wisely (Halzack, 2013)

Twitter:

  • Showcase what makes YOU special
  • Be distinctive
  • Professional profile photo
  • Share and RT content you are genuinely interested in
  • Follow companies / individuals in industries you want to work in
  • Show your personality – keep your audience in mind!

Bring all your profiles together via the platform About.me – to really showcase yourself to employers and get your professional profile noticed.

(406 words)

Sources

Burch. K, Students: how to use LinkedIn at uni to help you get a job when you graduate. The Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/dec/30/linkedin-tips-for-students-employability [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Hartwig. E, How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource, Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2013/02/09/twitter-job-search/ [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Halzack. S, Tips for using LinkedIn to find a job, Washington Post. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/tips-for-using-linkedin-to-find-a-job/2013/08/01/7c50c418-e0ff-11e2-8ae9-5db15d3c0fca_story.html [Accessed 9/11/2014]

LinkedIn, LinkedIn for Students: Your Career Starts Here. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWp6AN00D_c [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Le Viet. S, Twitter’s Redesign Makes the Platform Ripe for Recruitment. Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2014/04/21/twitter-redesign-recruitment/ [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Joyce. S,What 80% Of Employers Do Before Inviting You For An Interview. Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-p-joyce/job-search-tips_b_4834361.html [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Steimle. J, Top 3 Tips From a LinkedIn Expert. Forbes. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2013/08/07/top-3-tips-from-a-linkedin-expert/ [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Featured Image: http://pearsonstudents.com/blog/clean-it-up-how-social-media-can-make-or-break-your-job-search/