The importance of taking control of your online career profile
Posted by: Jessica Wood on Tue 3 March 2015
Long gone are the days when your Line Manager would write you a glowing reference for you to hand over to potential new employers. These days all referencing is carried out by HR and at best a reference will just tell a future employer what dates you worked at a company and the actual role you undertook.
There is no longer a ‘job for life’ so it’s important you take control of your own career portfolio so to speak.
One way you can take ownership and promote yourself is by using LinkedIn, it’s free and will compliment your CV in ways that a few years ago you weren’t able to do. Everyone these days tend to check people out on social media – it’s become human nature; in-house recruiters, HR managers and external recruiters, when in receipt of a CV, will no-doubt also check you out online.
- Have a strong summary profile, including a picture of yourself (a professional head-shot). Remember it is a networking site and people like to see people! Someone once said to me ‘would you go to a networking event with a paper bag over your head?’ if ‘no’ then why have a LinkedIn profile with no picture?
- Include in your profile a brief overview of your role; include achievements i.e. where you’ve added value, assisted in a project, helped saved the company money etc
- Ensure the job dates you post on LinkedIn fully match those reflected on your CV and ensure you cover off any gaps in employment
- Gain recommendations from previous Line Managers and colleagues to enable you to build your own glowing references (see above); what others say about you, the way you work, what you add is very powerful
- Ensure your CV has URL to your LinkedIn profile.
- Avoid uploading a picture of you in a pub/bar or in too social a setting – save these for Facebook
- Do not just copy and paste in a lengthy list of duties taken from your actual job description – This makes for dull reading and does not represent you as a person, what you’re capable of and what you’ve achieved; explain clearly in your own words what you do and your achievements
- Don’t gain recommendations from friends & family saying how fab you are, of course they would say this. Ensure your recommendations are credible work-based testimonials from managers & colleagues etc
- Avoid creating a LinkedIn profile if you don’t have any intention of building/using it as this can be worse than having no profile at all
- Don’t publish content within your profile without checking for spelling mistakes and/or grammatical errors – you’ll be amazed how many people have their job titles spelt incorrectly.