social media

Move over George Orwell…

You’re in the job market, resume’s looking good and you’re now waiting for the recruiter to call. Chances are they’re busy checking out your online presence. Did you know that 98% of recruiters will view your LinkedIn profile before they meet you? What’s more it’s standard for hiring managers and recruiters to check out your Facebook and Twitter profiles as well. Yes…the tech savvy are now using sophisticated technology to piece together a bigger picture of your profile. Sounding a tad too George Orwellian?

Here’s how it works…

When you look at two or three status updates on your social media profile, they may tell one story, but when you look at all of them in a timeline, they may paint a completely different picture. Are you an over-sharer, whiner, arguer, boundary-crosser, or one-upper person when posting online? What’s your personality? Are you open, creative, inventive, logical or easy going?

Curious to know if the image I’d like to project was aligned with the one I was actually projecting, I tested the following links and found FiveLabs fun (you all passed with flying colors), MyLife and Spokio dished more but required a fee to unlock a deeper dive, and my email address alone had Google bringing up page upon page of past blog posts.

What will you discover about you?

FiveLabs: Enter the link to your Facebook profile on this site and Five Labs will analyse the language of your posts to predict personality, and it is surprisingly accurate. Based on modern psychology, Five Labs ranks you on five personality traits – agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, extroversion and openness. Their methodology is based on the world’s largest language and personality study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

MyLife: Searches the internet to find all your public profiles, then presents the uncovered information. Some info may be sensitive in nature, and not the type you may want a prospective employer to see. For the paid version, you have more options such as viewing the online records the service found, who’s been searching for you on Google, and much more. As well, it removes sensitive information for you if you have their paid version of the service.

Spokeo: This is a people search engine that scours the internet, aggregating data from many online and offline sources. A Spokeo search returns phone numbers, address, email and photos. US only at this time though the site revealed a surprising amount of information on my profiles but again required a fee to unlock.

Google: Most of us know we should search our name on the search engine, but have you ever searched your phone number and email address to see what comes up? You might be surprised by what you see.

John Hamm - Mad Men

Image: From James Minchin’s behind the scenes photos of Mad Men – http://www.thefoxisback.com

Extract from Career + Work Blog | Right Management
‘Cleaning your Digital Footprint in Preparation for a Job Search’
Posted: 25 Sep 2014 (US)

Dealing with Digital Dirt

We love our social media right?

We also know that no matter how rigid our privacy settings, once published a post remains forever in cyberspace. Before hitting the publish button we now ask ourselves – could posting that photo of my Tequila fueled friend dancing naked on a late night cocktail bar potentially damage her reputation? Or mine for being so thoughtless? Would my offhand response to that political hot potato negatively reframe me in the eyes of others? Would that angry, revengeful diatribe about the cad/cow I’ve just broken up with call into question my integrity/sobriety/sanity? And how would I feel if my boss, potential employer, Nana or the media saw my post? One, two, five years from now?

‘What goes on the road stays on the road’…and YouTube and Vimeo and Reddit and…

Yes, critical indeed that we carefully manage and protect our online personal brand. But what if someone deliberately set out to damage our brand image?

Recently met an extremely influential high flier who had Google searched herself and found, immediately below the link to her LinkedIn profile, a savagely titled link leading to an unnecessarily vitriolic essay written about her by an individual (read ‘troll’) hell bent on damaging her reputation. She needed a solution STAT!

Here’s what we recommended: (more…)

Got a minute?

I’m oft surprised by the number of work force professionals challenged by the thought of online personal branding…’I don’t like to talk about myself’, ‘I’m a private person’, ‘I’ve more important things to do’. The future is digital folk and it’s time we embraced it.

But why? What does this digital business involve?

It involves dedicated webpages replacing traditional resumes; LinkedIn membership volume and currency replacing Rolodexes; WhatsApp and other messaging apps replacing phone pickup; Google+ and Google Apps replacing megabyte file sharing email congestion; global file access via Cloud storage replacing frantic midnight calls to irritated home based PA’s; MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) a veritable smorgasbord of educational opportunity developed by esteemed Universities, now accessible via our digital fingertips. The list is endless…and all tethered with the smart technology in our pockets.

Given this, we need to understand, climb on board and embrace – for how better to be found, to be seen, to promote our capability and expertise, to connect, to maintain continuous learning? LinkedIn for instance – what better platform to garner headhunter attention, job offers, new clients, fresh contract opportunities, broader networks, or tap into the vast networks of group and thought leader knowledge sharing?

But how do you find time to maintain all this stuff?

Building an online presence can sound like a whole lot of work and no matter how important we know it is, who wants to spend several hours a day tweaking their profiles, finding interesting stuff to share, considering group conversations to weigh in on, carefully narrowing a Tweet message to just 140 characters?

‘Ain’t nobody got time for dat!’

It’s a question of making time. And I do. Average 10 minutes over my morning coffee. Seriously, I’ve often queued longer for that coffee! Substantiating my claim, LinkedIn recently asked personal branding guru William Arruda how much time we should dedicate to putting ourselves out there every day. A spot of research later and he declared that nine was the magic number.

Nine. Nine minutes. Just nine minutes!! I like this man.

Devoting just nine minutes to your career and professional goals a day and your less likely to get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of online brand management. Easy to get sidetracked when you’re aiming to spend an hour, or even 30 minutes promoting yourself, less so when you select just one task to boost your career every day. The more attainable the goal, the increased likelihood of actually doing it.

Here are nine ‘quickies’ to get you started: (more…)

The future of ‘personal branding’…

Personal Branding – cutting through the clutter… 

A sleek, tailored resume aligning our ‘personal brand’ qualities with our future aspirations; a list of well researched companies to target; a bunch of network contacts willing to connect us with decision makers within; relationships with two or three key recruiters specialising in our field; a LinkedIn profile promoting our brand to the world…as a job seeker, we’re doing all we can to land our ideal role right?

Would it surprise you to know that job applications are frequently scanned for key word match against the advertised criteria before a human eye even sees them? And those that make it through will garner less than 6 seconds viewing as the pile is reduced to the few worth closer scrutiny? And that 95% of recruiters and employers will then turn to Google to research the owners of these applications?

What’s more, given the onerous task of wading through a possible 300+ job ad responses, recruiters, head hunters and employers are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to cherry pick from the rich talent pool of potential job fits within. And should we surface during their key word search, our profiles will receive less than 36 seconds viewing time. Why? Well only 65% of our LinkedIn profile is actually about us. Ads, other visuals and other people’s profiles will distract their attention and potentially lead them away from our information.

So how are we to cut through the scanning, speed-read and clutter and stand out from the masses?

Today’s employers are seeking as much information as they can to ensure a ‘perfect fit’. They are looking to assess elements such as professional qualifications, history, skills sets, subject matter expertise, thought leadership, achievements, connections, personality, creativity and cultural fit. So much more than can be conveyed in resumes and profiles and if we are to succeed in a competitive marketplace we need to innovate from such traditional approaches.

Enter the Personal Web Page…

The best sales people know how important it is to make personal connections with their clients. Whether through a shared hobby, an experience or a life philosophy; making a connection with our audience reminds them that we’re a real person. Difficult to do through a resume, easy through a visually stimulating Website.

For years, prominent authors, musicians, politicians and other personalities have used websites to raise their profile and provide a place to showcase their careers. What these people know is that having a website is a powerful tool for both building a personal brand and connecting with their audience.

Unlike social media sites, a personal website is 100% about you and; given that people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read and 80% of what they see and statistically spend up to 3 minutes viewing visually stimulating websites, what exactly are we waiting for?

Still unconvinced? Here’s 5 reasons why we should consider creating a personal website: (more…)

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