Is Your Digital Identity Setting You Up For Trouble?
By Chuks Agada, M.A., Adjunct Faculty
Anyone pursuing new professional opportunities these days understands that leveraging social media, and the identities established in the various communities, is critical for success.
But does social media really work? Check out these statistics from an annual Jobvite survey:
- 92% of U.S. companies planned to recruit through social media in 2013
- In 2012, 73% of the surveyed companies hired through social networks
- 86% of recruiters are likely to look at social profiles
These days, job boards are a “black hole” from which applicants rarely receive a reply. Career advancement is a proactive endeavor and social media drives this reality. That’s made it critical for those seeking to advance their careers to develop a strong digital identity to improve their marketability.
Here’s a wrap-up of what to do, and where, to grow your identity:
LinkedIn is the most commonly used social networking platform among employers and job seekers. 93% of recruiters plan to use LinkedIn for recruiting in 2013. With a free account, your profile can display your experience and a summary of relevant career goals, skills, awards, educational info and much more. You can also search job openings in your industry and follow companies that interest you. Don’t forget to connect to your contacts and request a few recommendations.
While Facebook isn’t as popular as LinkedIn for professional networking, it plays a part in creating your digital identity. 66% of recruiters plan to use Facebook for recruiting in 2013. Inappropriate photos and posts might ruin your chances with a potential employer, so be sure to keep your Facebook profile personal, yet appropriate.
Did you know Twitter could build your professional image? 54% of recruiters plan to use Twitter for recruiting in 2013. Start using Twitter to find out about industry news and share what you learn with your followers. Become a thought leader in your field by sharing important information. This helps you build an authoritative voice that is noticed by other professionals.
LinkedIn covers most of the bases when it comes to displaying your professional history, but you can get more creative with your own website or portfolio. Consider designing a website that focuses on your professional life. This allows you to display your goals, experience and work samples in a way that’s unique to you. It can even work as a way to impress your audience with your creativity. Be sure to advertise it on your social media accounts so you can build a Web presence.
Whether you want to write about your professional industry or a topic of personal interest, maintaining a blog hones your online voice and identity. Keep it appropriate and grammatically correct, and you might find blogging to be a new addiction that builds your digital identity in surprising ways.
Here are some final tips to keep in mind to help you create an appealing online identity. First, showcase transferable skills. In a world of multitalented professionals, it’s important to emphasize how your capabilities and accomplishments can transfer to new positions.
It’s also important to communicate the accomplishments and successes you’ve had over the course of your career. Call it your “brag bag.” Many employers want to know what you bring to the table. If you can communicate this effectively over a digital medium, you make it more likely for an organization to connect with you.
Chuks Agada, M.A., serves as an adjunct professor for Colorado Technical University where he teaches Human Resources courses. In addition to this, Chuks works as a Talent Solutions Consultant for LinkedIn Corporation where he educates clients on the value of LinkedIn Corporate Recruitment Solutions. His background is in staffing and recruitment, human resources and talent acquisition strategies. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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Image credit: Flickr/ Stuckincustoms