In the last decade, online recruitment has significantly grown. With internet usage increasing, job seekers are now turning to online methods to find jobs; in fact, in 2014 ‘76% of job seekers used an electronic device with Internet capability in their job search.’ (BCG Perspectives, 2015). With competition also growing to capture the ‘top talent’, employers also are increasingly conducting recruitment via ‘web-based tools such as a firm’s public internet site or its corporate intranet’ (Kerrin and Kettley, 2003). Therefore, job seekers must create an authentic online professional profile to increase their chances of getting a job, now more than ever!
But what exactly is an ‘authentic’ online profile? According to the dictionary definition, to be authentic is to be true to oneself – so, a genuine, professional identity. This means that one must use their real name and real work experiences when creating a professional identity; steering away from the idea of ‘pseudonyms’ discussed in Topic Two. The other keyword, is ‘professional’. This would seem obvious when job seeking, however, Branham and Farrar (2014) believe that people, particularly millennials, ‘think less and less’ about what they say and how they appear online, which can lead to problems when they begin their job search. Firms use the web to research candidates (as seen below), therefore, Bryant (2016) urges job seekers to ‘clean up their act’ online, to avoid being endlessly rejected in the highly competitive job market.
So, how do we ‘clean up’ up our online act and create an authentic professional online profile? This infograph gives us some key steps to get started:
Essentially, creating this profile allows the user to effectively market themselves, not just to future employees but also to future business partners and other likeminded individuals in similar fields. In this new digitally driven, competitive age, it is vital to utilise Linked-in, Facebook and other social media sites to paint yourself in the best light possible. As Peter Bowes explains in this video, having a professional online identity serves as a ‘Personal Brand’, where you have the control to create your own personal image. As a marketing student, it is particularly interesting to see how important it is to always consider the image you are portraying online, and the future implications that each action across all platforms have on your brand image.
But I do question, how far can employers ‘dig’ for information before it becomes intrusive?
Word count: 400 words.
BBC, (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 [Accessed 9 March 2017].
BCG Perspectives (2015) Job seeker trends 2015: Channels, search time, and income change. Available at: https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/human-resources-media-entertainment-job-seeker-trends-2015/?chapter=2#chapter2 (Accessed: 9 March 2017).
Bryant, K. (2016). Engaging 21st century writers with social media. 1st ed.
Dictionary, (2017). The definition of authentic. Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/authentic (Accessed 9 March 2017).
Farrar, and Branham, (2014). Negotiating Virtual Spaces: Public Writing. Writingcommons.org. Available at: http://writingcommons.org/negotiating-virtual-spaces-public-writing (Accessed 9 March 2017).
Jacobs, D. (2013). Forbes Welcome. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2013/05/17/how-an-online-reputation-can-hurt-your-job-hunt/#2cf3f38a6695 (Accessed 9 March 2017)
Jobvite, (2014). 2014 Survey: Social Recruiting. Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf (Accessed: 9 March 2017).
Kerrin, M and Kettley, P. (2003) E-recruitment – is it delivering? Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies.