Social media have long stopped being just entertainment and a way of connecting with old and new friends. They drive e-commerce, support marketing activities and build the power of companies. Development of these communication channels has also created perfectly functioning tools for the job market. LinkedIn and Goldenline (sometimes also Facebook and Twitter) function as platforms enabling employers, headhunters and jobseekers to connect. They create professional and business networks. How are these tools better than the traditional CV and why are they worth considering?
What is the main disadvantage of a traditional CV? A CV sent to an HR department or recruitment agency quickly becomes outdated. The longer it sits in a folder in a recruiter’s or employer’s hard drive, the less it reflects the candidate’s current professional profile and skills. We are constantly evolving, changing jobs, positions and responsibilities, while records would remain the same.
While, being it a weakness of the traditional CV it is a strength of social media. An up-to-date, complete and well-prepared profile on LinkedIn or Goldenline is an excellent tool which connects the candidate with job offers and provides good knowledge of the job market - Natalia Rzepecka, Associate Manager at Goldman Recruitment - one of the leading HR consulting agencies in Poland, explains.
Theoretically, you can send new versions of your CV to headhunting agencies or HR departments from time to time but this is quite troublesome. By updating your online description in one go, we reach a wider audience with permanent access to our profile and can follow the changes.
Why care about the profile and its quality?
A professional profile on business social media is an excellent tool for engaging contact with recruiters and employers. However, in order to make it happen, you have to be there in the first place. Many people still do not take advantage of the opportunities offered by business networking platforms. There are many reasons – attachment to traditional forms of communication, reluctance to change jobs or lack of motivation. This is a mistake – an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn or Goldenline puts us in touch with the market and gives us opportunity to obtain up-to-date information about the industry or companies that are in our field of interest. Besides, we never know when we might want or need to make use of this knowledge.
Many people have a profile, but it is incomplete and outdated, which has the opposite effect – it discourages potential employers and confuses recruiters. That’s why it’s worth taking time to properly ensure the quality of the description.
Personal branding. How to build a good profile?
Your description should start with a short note, stating our career path – what we specialise in, what we can do and what we are looking for. The photo is very important – it needs to have a professional feel and a friendly vibe. A photo in a t-shirt with a dog next to you is inappropriate in this case. A profile on LinkedIn or Goldenline is our business card. Therefore, it is worth considering what the first impression can be of a potential employer viewing it.
When writing about the positions we undertook, it is important to focus on those that have had a significant impact on our career, that have developed us professionally. A student internship in a restaurant doesn’t matter too much when, years later, you work as a marketing director. When listing functions held, it is good to standardise their names so that they can be understood by people outside the organisation. Alternative names can be added in brackets to make it easier for recruiters and employers to understand the nature of the position correctly. Pay most attention to your one of the recent roles – these are the ones that people will focus on when looking at your profile.
Describe your responsibilities precisely. The job title itself often doesn’t tell much – a marketing specialist may have significantly different tasks in different companies. The more specific, the better. Do not forget about foreign languages and a clear definition of their level of knowledge. There are some recruitments where these are crucial, especially if you can speak rare languages – for example Norwegian, Danish or Swedish. It is also worth taking advantage of the additional functionality that services offer. “Skills or recommendations, confirmed by other service users, increase our credibility. They are outlined under the name, someone takes responsibility for them, and they also contain important information that complements information about you. The more data recruiter obtains the greater chance that you will be contacted with an attractive offer, addressing our ambitions and capabilities” explains Natalia Rzepecka.
What to avoid at all costs? Empty words and irrelevant information, as they contribute nothing and take up the time of people viewing the profile unnecessarily. Overstating your competences and level of knowledge of languages, as this is easily verified and you can end up losing credibility.
By maintaining a high-quality profile on business social media, we reverse the direction of communication. In the process, it is not just us looking for a job – the job is also looking for us. The sites allow us to search for people according to predefined filters and keywords that increase the efficiency and accuracy of the research. These are ideal tools for headhunters. In turn, people interested in working for specific companies have the opportunity to keep up to date with their profiles and job offers – LinkedIn or Goldenline are often the first places where information about new recruitments appears. Candidates can also take a look at the organisational structure at a particular company, following the profiles of key positions, including those responsible for hiring new employees. This is valuable information for those who want to show initiative. Why? They can write to such people, make direct contact with them and declare their interest in a particular position. The key is to do this with the right flair. If we are remembered, who knows, maybe the phone will ring at the right moment? When we are invited to an interview, it is worth reviewing the profile of the person we will be meeting. Perhaps it will be easier if we find out what their achievements and professional interests are?
How do I communicate in business networks?
First of all, you need to understand what they are and what their function is. LinkedIn is not Facebook, where we move among friends. If someone invites us to join their network, we should accept this request – the role of LinkedIn or Goldenline is business networking, not private networking. When we are approached by a recruiter, it is worth writing back – even if we are not currently looking for a new position. We can gain a lot of interesting information about the job market and offers, thus gaining insights that may be useful in the future. If the HR advisor asks for a telephone number, it is worth providing it – it is not an obligation. If, in fact, you are not interested in a new job at the moment, you can simply communicate this in an appropriate manner. Our number will remain in the database, perhaps the consultant will call another time, at a more appropriate moment for us. Of course, it may happen that someone you don’t want to communicate with attempts to contact you. It is necessary to check this – it is enough to go to their profile, see what company they represent. An important clue is the content of the message – is it personalised or are we a recipient of spam along with a hundred other people.
“Consultants working for top HR consultancies stick to certain rules. The messages sent by recruiters at Goldman Recruitment are always aimed directly for candidates. This is a sign that we are reliable and have taken time to carefully go through a person's profile” says Natalia Rzepecka.
What profiles attract recruiters?
First and foremost – an up-to-date, well developed and logically presented ones, but we’ve already mentioned that. Anything more specific? Those that match demands in the job market. Currently, IT specialists and people with experience working for the BPO/SSC sector are the most sought after. Companies providing outsourcing services often look for people with knowledge of rare languages – an opportunity for emigrants who want to return to Poland. They should add such information on their profile, this increases their chances of getting a good offer. However, HR market, like any other, often changes.
“Certain trends do not last forever so it is possible that in one or two years' time recruiters will be looking for people with different skills set and work experience. That's why it's essential to make sure you present your profile as professionally as possible on business networks. You never know when the job market demands you” concludes Natalia Rzepecka from Goldman Recruitment.