A week ago, I was catching up with an old pal of mine and we exchanged name cards. The typical follow up was for each party to look up on each other’s Facebook account. The scenario above is an example of typical networking, a sign of how it had evolved through time. Never underestimate the true potential of your online professional profile (look at how Facebook had become an online passport). It had created a platform for not only getting yourself recruited for a job but networking and business opportunities, an increasing emphasize for entrepreneurs over the years.
Moving on, why is an authentic online professional profile important? Previously on topic 2, I highlighted on the importance of authenticity identity from the perspective of a marketing student. Today, I will attempt to tackle this question in the aspect of entrepreneurship and recruitment.
Source from: Stone’s Throw Media (Jul 15, 2013)
Startup entrepreneurs need to brand themselves first. Martin Zwilling (June 16, 2012) mentioned that a personal brand can work in conjunction with business brand, there can be a positive association with the company brand and vastly improves the odds of success in the startup stage. In short, it establishes trust through online channels and creates an identity.
Of course, there are critiques to my views above where some questioned the effectiveness of an authentic professional profile due a lack of real communication and may not translate into real life opportunities. 1 to 1 communication translates to higher understanding!
For undergraduates, we get to increase our success rate of job hunting by creating the ideal impression online, joining a talent network (NatWest Career) and keeping ourselves updated via news feeds of our dream companies.
So how can an authentic online professional profile be developed?
Be Resourceful, yet Creative
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Blogging are examples of useful tools which individuals may explore. Studies show that 73% of recruiters have hired a candidate through social media, 93% reviews a candidate social profile with LinkedIn scoring the highest as an essential recruitment tool. (Jobvite, 2014). The statistics doesn’t lie, social recruiting is too important to be neglected now. However, Individuals are encouraged to display creativity when it comes to building and online identity, it is about how you utilize these ‘tools’. As the quote goes:
Let’s take a look at how Nick Belling utilizes creativity and landed a job via his online resume:
Source from: Nick Belling (Feb 28, 2013)
Be Authentic & Professional, yet Eye-catching
In the context of HR, Authenticity can be achieved via being able to justify what you post, be genuine and truthful of what you choose to display. Example: Edward must be prepared to showcase the relevant KSAOs he displayed on his social page when an opportunity comes knocking onto his door. It is about being able to ‘walk the talk’.
Professionalism on the other hand, can be achieved via keeping in mind of what you post. There are many instances of people getting fired from their job over social media mistakes, as it may potentially harm the brand image, likewise towards recruitment and here are some notable examples. Individuals are encouraged to wipe off any posts which would lead to their disadvantages as much as possible.
While trying to be genuine and project an ideal image, the cognitive level of individuals must be taken into account for your browsers. No one would be interested in knowing more about a dull and lengthy profile keep in mind of what readers want to see!
Martin Zwilling ( June 16, 2012): Entreprenuers need to brand themselves first
Micha Kaufman (February 16, 2013): Top Trends Entrepreneurs Should Watch This Year
Steve Tobak (OCTOBER 08, 2015): How to build your brand the right way
Peter Bowes (10 December 2013) Job interviews: Making the right impression
Jobvite (August 2014) Job interviews
Micha Kaufman (NOV 16, 2012): How to brand yourself on a small budget