AJO Blog

Is your “online presence” enhancing or extinguishing your career?

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July 18th, 2011

Most people we work with in career transition today have a LinkedIn profile. It's also true that most benefit significantly from a makeover. Unlike a resume which can languish in a draw or folder on your computer without any real adverse impact, your LinkedIn profile is ubiquitous. Of course, this applies to any social network you’ve joined. More than ever, employers and recruiters are using social media to hire, including searching online profiles to make decisions on whether to interview and/or hire you.

At the same time, the social networks are enhancing their sites, making it hard to keep up with new features being added, including those that impact your privacy. As a result, a poor or nonexistent online presence can negatively impact your career and affect your ability to attract others when you’re hiring.

The good news is that there are some great free tools and techniques that can positively enhance your online presence. With a small time investment, you can set yourself apart from others in your field with a positive, professional image and strong network that attracts others.

In this series of blog postings, we’ll bring you up to speed with the latest information on the use of social networks for hiring. We’ll focus on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, sharing tips and resources to successfully harness these networks in particular, to manage your online presence and advance your career.


The Growing Social Networks

Pew Internet Research's study (2011) on social networking and our lives found:

  • The number of people using social networking sites (SNS) has nearly doubled since 2008 
  • The population of SNS users has increased from an average age of 33 to 38 during the same time
  • LinkedIn is the most commonly used SNS among those over 35 (59%) and those with bachelors or advanced degrees (75%)
  • LinkedIn is the least visited network among its user base, although this network’s members claim more diverse networks 

Note that LinkedIn has been adding new features to its platform to address this last point, making it more important to visit and maintain a presence there, once a profile is created. We'll say more about this in the next posting in this series.

The Use of Social Networks in Hiring

Pharma Case Study 

During a recent AJO sponsored Senior HR Advisory Board (SHRAB) meeting, an assembled group of HR executives had the opportunity to hear from a corporate recruiter at a major NJ pharmaceutical organization. We learned how this organization has been shifting its recruiting investment towards social media tools. Using LinkedIn Recruiter, a corporate recruiting tool, this organization ran two successful hiring campaigns in support of a new drug launch. Without being visible on LinkedIn, candidates who were a match for this organization’s hiring needs would not have easily appeared on the hiring radar. 

Recruiters today expect that you’ve done your research ahead of time and this includes reviewing the LinkedIn profiles of hiring managers and others with whom you are meeting prior to an interview. 

JobVite Study

Increasingly, recruiters and hiring managers are looking to social networks to source their open positions. Jobvite published its annually survey of 800 HR and recruiting professionals last week and 89% of respondents indicated they will use social media to recruit this year, up from 83% in 2010.

  • LinkedIn tops the list with 87% of respondents using to hire, an increase of 9% since 2010.
  • Facebook (55%) and Twitter (47%) were in second and third position as social network tools of choice.

In future postings, we’ll share tips and ideas for measuring your online presence and developing a strategy to enhance it. This will include a review of the most important social networks with which to get up to speed.


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