Facebook: the new cyber CV

Job hunters beware - employers are increasingly checking out networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to get a feel for prospective employees.

Fiona Hewitt, director of Brand YOU, says while some are just "checking out drunken photos on Facebook", savvy employers are using these sites as a recruitment tool to assess people's public persona and reputation.

And whether you're job hunting or preparing for a promotion, there's never been a better time to define your personal brand and boost your professional visibility.

In this "incredibly competitive" market in which there's plenty of uncertainty, Hewitt says you need to stand out through "working out who you are and showcasing your talents to others".

Employers want to know how you can strengthen existing client relationships, attract new clients or build new revenue streams. Having a strong personal brand helps them understand who you are and what you can do for them.

Hewitt says few people convey their value clearly and concisely in interviews and networking.

Promoting yourself online has become an increasingly important career and business management tool. Having a website in your own name that communicates crisply what you can do, lists your accomplishments and includes samples of your work is a primary way to project your brand.

If a prospective employee can refer their interviewer to their website, they will gain a competitive advantage over others and stand out instantly because few job hunters are doing this, Hewitt says.

Having a network of people who can recommend you helps your chances of bagging a job. Online professional networking platforms, such as Linkedin, are another good place to start publicising the value you can offer.

But internet marketing expert Debbie Mayo-Smith says it doesn't pay off if you're "the kind of person who waits for things to happen". To benefit, you must be proactive in working tools such as Linkedin. And they still tend to be used by a particular demographic, which may not be your target market.

Many owners of small to medium-sized businesses are too busy to trawl for them through cyberspace, she says. Her approach to Linkedin is to survey the contacts of anyone she connects with, looking for anyone to whom she would like to be introduced.

She also recommends joining groups through the site to which potential employers may belong as a means of making a connection and raising your profile.

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook also provide public platforms for exhibiting your personal brand, and Hewitt says awareness has grown that potentially, employers are looking at these profiles. "Employers are definitely using social media to check what people do," she says.

Another cost-effective tool to make yourself "a much slicker package in the marketplace" is developing an authoritative blog or answering questions online within your expertise area.

Mayo-Smith says building a personal brand online suits creative people and those in certain professions, but "everyday people" who've lost their jobs won't be rewarded for the effort required. They are better off identifying how they can transfer their skills to a less vulnerable industry and mixing with people involved in it.

Simon Pomeroy, recruitment manager at Air New Zealand, says when screening a candidate he looks to see if they have a Facebook page and what behaviour they're portraying to get a better idea about them.

"You can get a strong sense of someone's dynamic," he says. "And yes, it certainly influences whether we think someone's going to be a good fit for the organisation."

But less emphasis is placed on social media sites than professional networking ones.

His team uses Linkedin "extensively" to build lists of names and searches to see what has been written about them.

On other occasions he'll search someone he's heard about but feels may not be a fit in terms of their values and how they promote themselves.

When the company hired a regional general manager in China, he hadn't met the candidate, who'd come from another airline.

"We hadn't really got an idea what his track record was. Reading articles and seeing interviews about him, we got a good sense of his drivers. That was invaluable in us employing him."

Such online research is "critical" for roles in which the company needs to ensure a candidate is culturally aligned to the airline's brand.

Paul Jacobs of Engage recruitment says some graduate recruiters are considering ditching their traditional recruitment drives this year to focus their efforts on platforms such as Facebook.

And in an interesting twist, graduates overseas have turned the tables and targeted employers with Facebook ads.

Jacobs is about to launch a new social platform with a professional twist - TribeHQ - to connect people from the same occupational "tribe".

Members can converse with employers about their work culture and job vacancies and companies can tap directly into a targeted community of talent.

This article is from the New Zealand Herald

Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Infrastructure Engineer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

    £21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing