According to a 2014 social recruiting survey conducted by Jobvite, 73% of recruiters use or plan to use social networking sites in their recruiting arsenal, with 94% using LinkedIn and 66% using Facebook to recruit future employees (Jobvite 2014; Harris 2014).
It is therefore necessary in the growing digital age for jobseekers to build and maintain an online professional profile to stand out from the competition. Gerard (2011) recognises that professional networking is crucial in developing a successful professional online profile and acknowledges this can be achieved through purpose built online platforms such as LinkedIn and Xing as traditional networking methods become increasingly obsolete. Equally, employers need to adapt their recruiting techniques when searching for and managing new talent (Tapscott 2014).
Developing Professional Profiles – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
Yet there are other methods which can help individuals stand out from the crowd as well as highlight their talents and maintain their authenticity. Artists, Photographers, and Models may create and post portfolios of themselves on social networking sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, or Flickr to attract a wider audience and build their professional online presence (Yore, 2015). Companies such as Getty Images and Sports Illustrated have also begun to use images posted by users on Instagram in their Stock image galleries (Hall, 2012).
Similarly, individuals in the media industry such as journalist, reporters and reviewers may use blogs or even vlogs (video blogs) to demonstrate their talent. Not only do these methods help to improve their skills but they also demonstrate motivation and display their creativity and authenticity on a public platform (TheEmployable, 2014).
Likewise, professionals in the technology industry such as programmers and developers may not see social networking sites as appropriate to display their talents and so must rely on open source projects and collaborations on platforms such as GitHub to demonstrate their skills and competency for employers and build a professional portfolio (Codementor, 2015).
Consequently, there has been a growing distortion between social and professional identities online (Mills, 2013) and if managed incorrectly the results could have a detrimental impact on the individuals’ reputation and subsequently their career, as it did with Justine Sacco in 2013 (Ronson, 2015). Therefore, any public social networking profiles need to show professionalism.
These trends show that professional profiles go beyond static webpages and online CVs. Employers and recruiters are increasingly looking for unique and creative ways future employers display and show their work as a proof of their talent and motivation for the industry and so must adapt to develop authentic online professional profiles.
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