Who Says LinkedIn Profiles Are Truthful?

Posted on November 5, 2012. Filed under: Recruiting, Resumes, social media | Tags: , |

Resume Lying

I love social media. I especially love Twitter. As a small business person, it has opened up a whole new world of connections and opportunities for me.

However, there is one aspect of social media that, frankly, gets on my nerves, and that is all the smug people out there. If you’ve ever spent time on a Twitter chat or two or participated in a LinkedIn group, you’re bound to come across a couple. You know, those people who just love to rain on the parade with their higher understanding of the universe…? (Of course, these people exist in real life too; social media just has a way of bringing it out even more.)

Well, lately I have been coming across way too many smug characters who love to talk about social recruiting and how the resume is dead now that they have LinkedIn profiles. While I agree that LinkedIn profiles do provide a good outlet for social recruiting, I think the pronouncement that the LinkedIn profile is “good enough” is a bit premature.

(When I brought this up on a recent chat, one of my smug recruiter friends said, “Well, really good candidates don’t need any resume at all.” It’s something people love to say, but in reality, the very first thing any recruiter will ask you is whether you have a resume [or a bio or something; call it whatever you like…it’s still basically a resume] even after they have read through your LinkedIn profile.)

My biggest reason for showing some caution with the LinkedIn profile is that as a resume writer, one of the biggest issues that hiring managers and recruiters complain about is lying.

Lying on your resume has become single-handedly the worst thing you can do. And companies are now spending big bucks verifying candidate information.

So my argument is, if you think you have a problem with people lying on their resumes (a document they “hand” over to you directly, essentially lying to your face), do you really think it is going to be any better with the LinkedIn profile, a document that candidates don’t yet feel as committed to?

Here’s an example:

When most clients come to me these days, they now have some type of LI profile in place. I will go through the profile as part of my intake process with the client, gathering info to determine the client’s personal branding strategy.

It is amazing to me how often when I start questioning items on the LinkedIn profile that clients will immediately begin backpedaling.

“Well, I’m not really sure it was $3M saved exactly.”

“I really need to go back and check those dates; I just kind of guessed when I filled in my profile.”

“I know I listed XXX technical expertise, but I wouldn’t say I am proficient in it.”

So what is a social recruiter to do? Hmmm. Ask for a resume and give the “please make sure all submitted documentation is accurate and truthful” speech, maybe? Of course.

Listen. If the resume is dead and the LinkedIn profile has replaced it, fine, but someone better tell candidates that they are going to be held accountable to it, much like they are the resume they submit.

And someone better tell recruiters that people still lie on LinkedIn profiles, perhaps even more than they do on resumes.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )

Social Media Job Search: It’s All About Layering

Posted on June 26, 2012. Filed under: Job Search Tips, Personal Branding, social media | Tags: , , , |

social media layeringby Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)

Many people ask me which social media site I think is the best when it comes to a job search. On the surface, it seems like a logical question. After all, who wants to spend time on sites that aren’t effective? And let’s face it, social media is time consuming.

The problem with the question, however, is that it completely misunderstands social media.

Social media is about marketing.

Most people fail with social media (or at the very least give up trying) because they only see it as a networking tool, a place where they can connect with old friends (Facebook), colleagues (LinkedIn), build followers (Twitter), etc. Although networking is certainly part of it, it’s not the essence of it. Social media is about marketing, pure and simple.

But it’s not your old school MBA program kind of marketing (although I am hoping they are catching up); it’s one that takes your networks and creates communities of influence and engagement that “market” to one another…not in a “sales pitchy kind of way” but in a “value proposition kind of way.” At least that is what social media marketing should be anyway.

Therefore, the social media job search is not about using one particular site.

(It’s also not about becoming a rock star.)

The social media job search, just like social media marketing, is about layering.

Yes, layering.

Like any good marketing campaign, it starts with a message. Not a slogan…a message.  That message is then distributed across social media, but not as advertisement, more like as an ongoing story that recognizes the environment it is in.

For instance, say you are an IT project manager. Maybe you aren’t actively looking for a new job, but you’re starting to get the itch. At the moment, you have a Facebook account that you basically use to post pictures of your kids, a LinkedIn account that’s halfway filled in with connections to some colleagues, and you opened a Twitter account, but you don’t really know what to do with it. Right now, social media hasn’t been anything more than a basic networking tool for you.

Here’s where layering comes in.

You begin by developing your value proposition and personal brand message. In other words, what problems do you solve? What unique expertise do you bring? Think about how you can articulate that, and how you can use the different social media environments to do it.

Now let’s begin with LinkedIn. The first thing you can do is post that messaging in your profile. Then you can write blogs (using WordPress or Blogger), which you can feed into your LI profile, that detail some of your knowledgebase. You can also join groups where you can share your expertise on this subject. Another great option is to upload some presentations that you’ve done that again reinforce your main message.

After that, you take it further and go on Twitter, where you can tweet out links to your blog posts and LI updates. You participate in a chat or two each week that provides a forum for you to share your background knowledge and meet others with similiar interests.

Then you go to your Facebook account, where you look for industry groups you can join. You also find apps that let you upload some of your professional background info in a more casual way (like talent.me). Maybe you go a step further and feed in some images from Pinterest that make jokes about or highlight people like you (techies, organization freaks, etc.). It reminds your friends in a more casual way of the work that you do.

And so on. And so on.

I know…here’s the burning question…does all that lead to a job?

Well, the answer is the same as it is for the thousands of entrepreneurs out there trying to make social media work for them: “It works for some.”

It works for those who have a consistent, clear message and who figure out how to articulate that message, leveraging their communities across social media. It’s a lot of work, but it can work and has worked. But it starts with an understanding of what social media is and is not. And it requires a shift in thinking about marketing and messaging. It also requires a fair amount of research, finding and developing your target market and how to reach them.

It also isn’t something you can do overnight. It takes at least 6 months to build these layers on a basic level, and to build communities around them.

Sounds like a job in and of itself? It is. In my view, it isn’t so much as a job search tool as it is a career management one. It’s something you put in place and keep in place as you move throughout your career.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Personal Brand Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

FB, Twitter, LI, Oh My! Is All This Social Networking Worth It?

Posted on February 5, 2009. Filed under: Job Search Tips, social media | Tags: , , , , , |

social networkingby Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)

Suddenly, or maybe not so suddenly, social networking is everywhere. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter…and more like them are popping up daily. It seems that we are craving the need to speak to one another virtually. Never mind that we have cell phones, e-mail, IM, and text messaging, we seem to need these sites too.

I recently joined the Twitter craze and the Facebook craze. When I became Facebook “friends” with my neighbor down the street, he remarked (on my wall, of course), “Oh good…now we can keep in touch.” Now we can? The fact that we pass each other every day walking our dogs and driving our kids to soccer practice apparently now pales in comparison to being friends on Facebook.

I have to admit…it is a head-scratcher for me as to why this is such a craze, but craze it is, and now it is taking over the job search realm as well.

On the one hand, I’m relieved. Maybe now we can certainly prune off those ineffective job search boards and whittle it down to just the ones that actually post real jobs with real people at the other end of the Submit button. And God knows that for years us career pros have been shouting “networking” at the top of our lungs to job seekers. Furthermore, who can argue against the logic in building up a network of professional contacts in LinkedIn?

Certainly everyone seems excited by the possibility…dare I say “hope”…that these sites seem to bring to the job seeker. Now that I am on Twitter, I certainly see enough “tweets” going on about it.

So why am I a bit skeptical? Why do I get that uneasy feeling?

1. There are two key rules to conducting effective networking: tact and timing. If you go on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and spend all your time (and it definitely takes time) building up your friends, contacts, fellow tweets, whatever, only to beg them to help you find a job, you probably aren’t going to get far. On Facebook, your high-school and college friends want to talk about what silly things their kids are doing and post old, embarrassing photos of you. On Twitter, you need to be just the right balance of sociable and aggressive to get people to even follow you or respond to you. (You need to find as many witty things as you can to say in 140 characters about what you are doing right now.) On LinkedIn, it is certainly OK to be more open about things, but generally you need to stay professional and make yourself sound as employed as possible (even though you are looking for a job).

2. I touched on this in #1, but it bears more discussion here. These sites are extreme time-suckers…an hour is like a minute and two hours is like a minute and a half. Don’t get me wrong. They can be entertaining and certainly enjoyable, but you need to be careful that all your time isn’t sucked up by them. Resumes still need to get out the door. Phone calls still need to be made. If you don’t watch out, they can give you the illusion that you are doing something toward your job search, when in fact little progress is really being made.

So does that mean I am against them? No, it just means that you need to be careful with them. A little too social, and you will walk away with lots of great tidbits about your friends, but you will have very little to show for it on the job search front. A little too aggressive on the job search side, and you will walk away without any friends.

Of course, all of that has been true for face-to-face networking as well. The difference here is that this type of networking is 24/7 and everywhere, so it makes those issues even more exaggerated in this arena. As a small business owner offering services in this same scene, I am well aware of the causalities in not getting the balance right.

That is why I am so much in favor of group job hunting, both in person (be it local groups, etc.) and online. In these settings, everyone is there for the same person, and the discussion is to the point. Job seekers can put their noddles together, swap leads and resumes, share advice, and so on. And no one is irritated that you are looking for a job.

I am a big believer that job seekers should try all kinds of ways to look for a job and should be aware of and focus the majority of their precious time and resources on those tactics that are the most effective. With that said, give Facebook and Twitter your all, but remember that there are other avenues as well, like group job hunting, that offer you more productive discussions and contacts.

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it! Or send us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Next Entries »

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: