Since the explosion of the internet, and more specifically social media, there have been fundamental changes in the way in which business is carried out. We are moving in to what could describe as the “4th economy”, within which the internet plays a large part in the not only business transactions, but the recruitment process as well. With 75% of HR departments worldwide required to review their candidates’ online presence before interviewing, it is obvious that job-seekers need to be creating and maintaining a professional online profile in order to give them a competitive advantage. They need to be controlling their online image (removing dodgy facebook photos and promoting their professional profiles and blogs) in such a way that they create what Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic describes as a “self-brand”.
As an article recently published by the Guardian stresses, it is important to not just simply regurgitate your CV when building your online professional profiles, but to create a dynamic and multi-dimensional picture of yourself as a whole – which also works to make your persona more authentic and original. There are a number of different ways that you can add depth and personality to your LinkedIn profile, for example by including recommendations from colleges (which also adds credibility), and by adding blogposts, or links to your twitter account, and regularly updating your information (Guardian, 2013). You could also upload a video CV onto Youtube, so the real-life you can be put across.
With 70% of jobs found through personal connections, it is also important to use your online profiles in order to connect with influential others and network online. For example you can join and participate in discussions on various groups on LinkedIn which are related to areas of business that interest you, or you can request to connect with those (who might already be loosely connected to you) who are already involved in the field you want to work in (Linked In, 2010). Similarly you can follow and like companies of interest to you on Facebook and twitter, and therefore display your interest.
Overall, although it should be stressed that the creation and maintenance of an authentic online professional profile is both effortful and time-consuming, the statistics suggest that your work will reap rewards through work to increase your employability.