The starting point for networking is knowing exactly why you are doing it and specifically what you want to get out of it.

 

People network for many different reasons and most have more than one purpose. Some of the more commonly cited reasons include finding new opportunities, finding a job, help with career, building your reputation, raising your profile, making new contacts (especially sales contacts), finding a mentor (or someone to give advice and/or support), etc.

Whatever your reason, you need to be very clear about it and what you want to get out of networking. Knowing exactly why you are networking is important from three perspectives.

Firstly, it provides direction and focus for your networking. Most people’s networking efforts concentrate on collecting contacts – building the number of connections. But in networking, quality is far more important than quantity. Having hundreds of people in your network is pointless unless they can help you achieve your objectives, whereas having just a handful of people who can help you get what you are looking for will.

For example, a network of family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, former classmates, etc, can easily contain over a hundred people. If your objective in networking is to have a support network, then this would be an excellent network. However, if you are looking for a job as a trader in a bank, then unless one of these people can introduce you to a person in a bank who employs traders, they offer no value to you.

So you need to ensure that the people you are trying to attract to your network are people who can help you achieve your objectives. This will also provide focus as to where you should expend your networking efforts. Where do the people who could help you ‘hang out’? Do they go to certain events? Do they participate in particular forums on the internet? Do they blog or use Twitter? Wherever they ‘hang out’, you should too!

The second perspective in knowing what you want from networking – and the benefits you expect to get from it, is motivation. Networking takes effort and brings most people out of their comfort-zone, especially face-to-face networking. Knowing precisely what benefit you will get from networking provides the motivation to go and do it – you know the payback exceeds the cost of the effort.

The third perspective is if you don’t know exactly what you want from networking, people can’t help you achieve it! You might have many willing and helpful people in your network, but if you can’t tell them what you want, they can’t help you get it.

So make sure to put some thought into clarifying your objectives for networking.

LinkedIn Tip: Let Recruiters Know You're Open To New Opportunities

Everyone knows that the secret to feeling happy and fulfilled in your career is to find a profession that you love.

Everyone also knows that, if you are not feeling happy, fulfilled or satisfied in your current job, then there is no easy way to let the world know that you’re open to new career opportunities, without worrying that your current employer will find out. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll end up having no job at all.

What if there was an easy way to search for another job while keeping your current one after all? Imagine if you could privately signal to job recruiters everywhere that you would like to hear from them, or that you’d like them to help you find new job opportunities elsewhere. By doing this, you increase your chances of having one of those special and magical moments when a job recruiter reaches out to you with an amazing opportunity for career advancement.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to imagine. It is now possible to privately signal to recruiters that you are open to new job opportunities without having to worry over angering your current employer or losing your current job.


Open Candidates

Open Candidates is responsible for making all of this possible. It is a new feature for LinkedIn that makes it easier to connect with recruiters who can land you a job by privately signaling to them that you are open to new job opportunities.

You can specify the types of companies or positions in which you are most interested. You will also be easier to find for recruiters who use LinkedIn.

Open Candidates can be found when you click the “Preferences” tab on the home page for LinkedIn Jobs. To enable this feature, all you have to do is simply turn on sharing and fill in some brief information about the types of companies and positions in which you are interested.

The next thing you know, you are making yourself available and known to recruiters who can help you find a job, while keeping everything private for your own security and peace of mind.

LinkedIn hides the Open Candidates signal from recruiters at your current company or affiliated companies so you won’t have to worry about your boss finding out that you are looking for new work.

Open Candidates is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia for desktop and mobile use, and it will soon be available worldwide. It is also important to note that before you change your preferences and enable Open Candidates, you should update your profile and make sure all of your information is polished and current.

Your Weight Can Reduce Your Chances Of Getting Hired

Whether it’s a spare tire or muffin top, the health impact of an extra five pounds has been well-publicized for years.

One little-mentioned consequence, though, could have an impact on your future career and earnings.

Recently,  a study was published by researchers from the University of Toronto and University of Strathclyde, who wanted more information about the discrimination experienced by individuals who are seeking employment.

Specifically, they wanted to know if the weight of a job seeker has any impact. Would being one size bigger lead to discrimination during the job search process?


What Researchers Did

They used data from 120 individuals — 60 men and 60 women — who were asked to become corporate recruiters for a day and charged with ranking the hire-ability of individuals based on photographs of potential employees.

These photos were of four women and four men, all of whom were white and straight-faced, to minimize chances of bias. Each candidate had the same qualifications listed on their resumes as well.

For each candidate, a few different snapshots were created though digital enhancement. Each snapshot showed the candidate at a different weight. The photos were edited with each subject’s appearance falling within healthy boundaries and none were considered medically obese.

weight job search hunt

To make a decision, the “recruiters” had to rate the likelihood of hiring the person in each snapshot based on a seven-point scale,with one being extremely unlikely and seven being extremely likely. They were shown the photos in random order.


What the Study Found

Consistently, the heavier version of the same person was less likely to be hired. For women, however, the disadvantage was much greater. Heavier women were judged more critically.

“Women within the normal BMI range appear to suffer greater weight-based bias than men,” researchers noted. “Even a marginal increase in weight appears to have a negative impact on the hireability ratings of female job applicants.”

Try This Approach To Find Your Dream Job

When looking for a job, we all have a dream company and job in mind. We also include a few back-up companies/jobs in our job search efforts, just in case Plan-A doesn’t materialize.

However, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and the University of Wisconsin-Madison believe that having a backup plan can actually derail your success rather than help you achieve your goals.

After studying how people reacted to certain scenarios, their research shows that a safety net may actually decrease your motivation for reaching your highest potential.


THE STUDY

Jihae Shin, assistant professor of management at UW, along with professor Karen Milkman of UPenn, surmised that a backup plan may cause someone to work less hard in obtaining a goal.

The two researchers set out to find out if this hypothesis rang true by setting up an experiment with hundreds of people divided into two groups.

In one group, respondents were given a test to unscramble sentences. Those who did well could leave early or get a free snack.

Researchers added one aspect to a second group of people. The second group was told to also come up with ideas about how to get free food or how to make up any lost time later in the day, if they didn’t unscramble the sentences quick enough.


AGAINST COMMON PRACTICE

What the researchers found went against the notion that successful people always had backup plans in case something went awry.

People in the experiment who made backup plans fared worse on the unscrambling tasks.

Shin and Milkman discovered, through follow-up questions after the experiment, that the lack of accomplishment from people who had backup plans was partly due to a diminished drive to succeed.

Failure is associated with negative emotions. These are important for pushing us to succeed, in order to avoid the consequences of failure. When you have a back-up plan in place, the emotional safety net can reduce the desire to achieve your goals and succeed.


DRIVE VERSUS SAFETY NET

Whereas a backup plan may make you feel safe and reduce negative emotions associated with failure, a safety net could interfere with accomplishing your primary goal.

Security makes you feel better, but it might diminish your desire and drive for what you really want to achieve.

For example, you may settle for a job at a less well-known company because you already have a connection there versus reaching for a loftier objective at a prestigious firm where you don’t know anyone.

Fortunately, the researchers have a solution.


HOW TO ACHIEVE PLAN A FIRST

Shin and Milkman explain that you should rely on a backup plan only after you exhaust all possibilities for earning your original goal.

Many times, people may fall back on Plan B prematurely when they are already close to finishing Plan A.

Figuring when to switch gears means you should know yourself, determine what it takes to realize your objectives, and recognize when you can’t do any more.


What you do during your job search, does depend on your specific situation. However, it might be worth considering and incorporating the findings of this research into your job search.

Before spreading your efforts across Plans A, B and C, perhaps you should give Plan A everything you got first. It could make the difference between getting your dream job and having to settle for something less inspiring.

Having said that, to find your dream job it is essential that you go about the search in the perfect way. Take a look at our free guides to help with this.

Job Hunting In the Digital Age: Reputation, Resumes & Video Interviews [Infographic]

Anything and everything you do online leaves a digital footprint that employers can follow to determine whether or not you’d make a suitable employee.

For that matter, admissions officials might be interested in checking out your online presence — pictures and forum comments — before deciding if you warrant a letter of acceptance.

Fortunately, there’s a way that you can build a good online presence in this digital age. Learning the ins and outs of doing so is important because your online reputation counts for a lot.

What follows, therefore, is a primer on job hunting in the digital age, and how reputation, resumes and video interviews can help you succeed inside and outside of the classroom.


Reputation Matters

Building a strong online reputation is more important than you might think, particularly when you consider the following statistics:

  • 75% of recruiters will conduct research online to learn about applicants
  • 70% of recruiters have turned down applicants based on what they discovered online

Whether you’re a student pursuing an advanced degree or a graduate looking for work or an experienced professional, a LinkedIn account is a must. You can use it not only to market yourself online, but also to look for career opportunities or for network-building opportunities.

When you consider that 89% of all recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn and that a mere 36% of job seekers are active on LinkedIn, it becomes clear that a presence on the popular social networking site is a good idea.

LinkedIn will help you to establish a strong online reputation, but there are other things that you need to keep in mind such as the difference between private and public profiles. For the former, you need to ensure that you restrict who can access them, get rid of any inappropriate photos or comments, and refrain for using your real name for your username. For the latter, you need to create separate accounts with your real name as the username and post industry-specific content.


Video Resume

In this digital age, you definitely need a video resume. Around nine in 10 resumes are presented in the traditional format, so going with a video resume can instantly differentiate you from the crowd.

As for programs you can use to create your own video resume, the following are three options:

  1. YouTube
  2. Vine
  3. Vimeo

Video Interview

You need to take a video interview as seriously as you would an in-person interview. Consider that 33% of bosses know within the first 90 seconds if they are going to hire a candidate, 53% of surveyed HR managers say that they use video interviews quite often, and 13% of hiring managers plan to use video interviews even more.

As empowering as the Internet can be if used correctly, it can hurt your career plans if your digital trail leads to anything questionable. So establish a good online reputation, showcase your video resume and prepare yourself for video interviews in order to bolster your job prospects.


search job hunting online digital social asia

‘Weak ties’ are more likely to get you a job

Job searching is not what it used to be.

If it has been a few years since you have needed to actively look for a job, you might not be aware of all the possibilities and options available.

Job boards and newspaper classifieds may still have a few benefits and resources, but they no longer play as significant of a role.

A proper digital presence and social media, especially LinkedIn, are now the best way to approach today’s job market.

Although LinkedIn is growing daily in popularity, very rarely is it used to its full potential. Most people use it as just another job board, which defeats it’s purpose entirely.

When used properly, LinkedIn has the ability to place your resume on top of any employer’s stack of applicants.

The main benefits of LinkedIn are:

  1. Easier networking and contact management.
  2. Having access to people in employer companies directly (i.e. being able to bypass recruiters and job boards).
  3. Making use of ‘weak ties’ which are a very effective for job search purposes.

Let’s look into the usefulness of weak ties for your job search.

Connections with colleagues, close friends, and family members are great. You should certainly use these ‘strong ties’ in order to get your next job.

However, according to a study completed by sociologist Mark Granovetter, you are 58% more likely to land a job through the people in your life who you are not that close to.

Such people, who Professor Adam Grant (Wharton School) calls weak or dormant ties, are “people with whom you’ve lost touch for a few years: a childhood neighbor, a college roommate, or a colleague from your first job.”

LinkedIn makes it very easy to find, connect with and cultivate these people during your job search.

Through the years of drifting apart, they have established different connections and developed new friendships with people you probably do not know. They provide an expanded set of opportunities that are not available through your close friends and family members, who have the same general social circles you do.

So the next time you get a LinkedIn request from someone from a distant past, or someone who you don’t know too well, think twice before ignoring it. The power of LinkedIn is in it’s network. You have access to your connections, as well as people in their network, and their network’s network.

For best practices to use LinkedIn during your job search with strong and weak ties, take a look at some of our articles and also the Networking/LinkedIn section of our job search guide.

Use this approach to get your next job in Asia

The question we get most often from job seekers is, “How do I get a good job”

This is a loaded question and tough to answer quickly. Which is why we’ve prepared a complete set of guides on the topic.

However, I wanted to touch upon one job search technique, which people don’t use enough or effectively.

Referrals.

When employers are looking for a new people, one of their preferred hiring sources is a referral from someone they trust.

If you’re looking for a job, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting a referral that will land you a job.


List 10 to 15 companies you want to work for and have a good chance of being hired at.

It is important to be realistic here.

If you went to an average university and you haven’t been a top performer for your employer, your chances of getting hired with a highly competitive organization are probably slim.

Don’t devote all your time, effort, and hopes, on jobs that will more than likely not work out.

In your list, have a few companies that are a stretch for you to get into, a few that are just right, and a few that are a safe bet as backup.


Make a list of 20-30 people.

These should be individuals who you know reasonably well, who like you and who may also know someone importance at one of the companies you listed in step one.

Once you have your list of people, document how you will contact them. Some people prefer emails, and some might appreciate a phone call, so make sure you reach out to them accordingly.


Get something from each of those 20 people.

Try to get as many of the following as possible from every person you contact:

  • Resume and LinkedIn profile feedback.
  • An introduction to a potential employer. Shoot for a face-to-face meeting, but if that’s not possible, ask for a good word to be put in on your behalf. Or, see if your contact will pass your resume on to the potential employer. At the least, ask if you can use their name as a referral.
  • Any other companies or people your contact thinks you should get in touch with.
  • If your contacts don’t have any leads, ask if they’re willing to keep their ears open and contact you when one comes up.

Make sure that you give your contacts a synopsis that tells them the types of jobs you’re most interested in.

Also throw in a subtle bit of marketing, to let them know why you’re a good person to recommend. People won’t want to put their reputation at risk by recommending someone who turns out to be a lemon.


Contact people at your shortlisted organizations.

This could be people who your contacts introduced you to or recommended, or, for organizations for which you didn’t receive any warm leads, a cold outreach. LinkedIn is a great source for finding relevant people extremely fast. Have a look at the networking section of our job search guide for the best ways to use LinkedIn.

Ideally, the person will have the power to hire you, but it could be someone on a similar level, or a little lower, who could get you into a meeting with a hiring manager.

As a last resort, contact human resources, which could still be helpful to you.

Use your connection’s name when you communicate with the company.


Try to get something out of your interaction with people in target companies.

Ideally, you’ll get an interview and subsequent job offer out of your interaction.

If not, try to yield something of value like feedback on your resume, or the start of a relationship that makes you known to the hiring powers. Of perhaps some valuable insider information about the company/industry.

If the meeting doesn’t turn up anything, ask if you can contact them again in some time, to see if anything has changed.


Simple right?

It actually is. It’s just that most people turn straight to job sites/boards when looking for a job, and don’t really use their existing contacts for referrals in a big or organised way.

But once people try this, they see how well it works and like how much control it gives them over their job search, especially compared to some other ‘black-hole’ methods like job sites and often recruiters.

Advantages of using business cards during your job search

In most cases, people have business cards to help them connect with new clients or partners.

However, a business card can also be useful when you are looking for a job.

Here’s some advantages of carrying a business card during your job search and a few tips as well.


1)Cards Can Beat Resumes

Resumes may have the benefit of having more information about your skills and experience, but a business card has the advantage of communicating information in an immediate and aesthetically pleasing manner.

Additionally, cards help cut down on the bulk of carrying around a heavy stack of resumes.

Cards can fit basically anywhere, whether it be a pocket, suitcase, or wallet, making it easy for both you, and the people you give them to, to carry around.


2) People Will Remember You

Unless you have a very memorable set of skills, people are more likely to remember your face before they remember your resume, name or background.

A business card makes it easier for people to recall more about you.

To really ensure people remember you, think about possibly placing a small portrait of yourself on your business card.


3) Networking Is Easier

When networking with people, everyone tends to prefer business cards to simple phone numbers.

Also when people give you their card it’s natural for you to hand one over in return.

If you want to ensure you don’t miss out on a potentially stellar connection, you need to have an easy to hand off business card on you at all times.


Types of Business Cards for Job Seekers

Generally speaking, there exist two kinds of business cards you can create: resume cards and personal business cards.

Resume Cards

Also referred to as “mini-resume” cards, a resume card functions as a smaller and streamlined version of your regular resume.

For those who worry about cutting their resume down to one page, this proposition can seem like a nightmare.

However, if done correctly, a resume card is a great way to impress future employers.

For a successful resume card, you should include the following:

  • Contact Details
  • A Photograph
  • List of Key Jobs/Education and Key Achievements from Your Current/Past Positions

Easier to carry than a resume, and certainly more visually attractive, a resume card is perfect to give out to individuals you specifically talk about future job positions with.

job search singapore - mini resume
Image courtesy https://jobmob.co.il

 

Personal Business Cards

A personal business card, on the other hand, looks more like a regular business card. It avoids mentioning that you’re looking for the job and also avoids providing details of previous employers.

Overall, this sort of card should simply aspire to represent how you see yourself as a professional.

Here are a few of the key things you could include on a successful personal business card:

  • Current Job Title or Profession
  • A few words about yourself
  • Your Website/LinkedIn Profile/Other Social Network Handles
  • A Photograph or Logo
  • Contact Details
peosonal business card singapore jobs
Image courtesy https://jobmob.co.il

 

Is it pointless to search for jobs in Singapore at the end of the year?

For job seekers in Singapore, the time around the end of the year is often referred to as the “quiet” quarter.

Many recruiters see it as a slow period due to companies putting their job searches on hold at this time.

This occurs due to the festivities just around the corner, as well as the year-end pressures associated with determining bonuses for employees.

Although the second half of December will be much slower than the rest of the year due to hiring managers taking vacation time, roles still exist that job seekers can search out and apply for.

In fact by looking at the net hiring percentage, released by the recruitment firm Manpower, over the last three years, you can actually see that hiring activity during this period is not always as slow as it is presumed to be.

Net hiring percentage, is the percentage of employers expecting an increase in hiring, minus the percentage who expect hiring will drop.

When looking at the net hiring percentage for last year’s (2014) quarters specifically, the results are as follows:

  • Spring Quarter/Q1 – 16%
  • Summer Quarter/Q2 – 18%
  • Fall Quarter/Q3 – 20%
  • Winter Quarter/Q4 – 17%

To add to this, the net hiring percentage for the winter quarter was actually the highest in 2013, coming in at a whopping 21%! (The other quarters were at 10%, 17%, 15% respectively.)

When taking this information into consideration, you begin to realize that the year end can actually provide a great opportunity for job searchers in Singapore who refuse to take a break.

According to Shubhangi Faujdar, a recruiter and career coach with JobS-ME Singapore, here are four important reasons why this is.


Less Competition Exists for jobs in Singapore during Q4

Many job hunters will put their search on hold due to the myth of Quarter 4 holding fewer opportunities.

Due to this, you will have much less relevant competition when applying to jobs at this time.


Hiring Budgets are Being Met

Every manager will submit their hiring budgets at the beginning of each new work year, so once it is approved, they will not want to fall short of making the budgeted hires in many cases.

Due to this, many companies will actually ramp up their hiring practices during the end of the year, to make up for shortfalls.

For job seekers, this means that many hiring managers will have a sense of urgency when considering you, and that some requirements for the job may be more lax during this quarter. If you have wanted to apply for a job, but been a bit hesitant due to qualification issues, this is your time to shine.


Many Companies Need an Increased Workforce and Part-time employees in Singapore, at the Year’s End

The holidays are often the busiest time of the year for many companies. Everyone is trying their best to prepare reports, budgets, and are attempting to hit annual targets set at the beginning of the year.

Due to this, if staff leave positions, or positions need to be filled, hiring managers will attempt to fill them quickly, which gives you the advantage as a job seeker.

Additional work is also needed at many companies, which can lead to high-pay temporary work, and a potential permanent foot in the door at an organization you’d like to work for.

In fact, these temporary/part-time positions in Singapore get converted into full-time positions about half of the time according to some studies.


Keeping Active in Your Job Search in Singapore Leads to Better Overall Results

Even if you are not lucky enough to land a job during Quarter 4, keeping on top of your job search during this time can have great impacts on your overall job search in Singapore.

By continuing to apply for jobs and attending initial interviews during this quarter, you get yourself known by companies looking to hire in the New Year. If you are already mid-way through the selection process, you might be placed in the final stages of potentially gaining a position in the beginning of the next year.

Now that you know to ignore the myth of decreased hiring efforts in Quarter 4, it is time to start preparing yourself for the job search in Singapore.

LinkedIn Status Updates That Lead To Great Job Opportunities

In a recent video – Expert Strategies for Success by LinkedIn – there are a variety of tips for writing LinkedIn status updates that attract valuable job opportunities.

To help those in need of this information, here are a few of the finer points made in the video.

  1. LinkedIn users become 10x more likely to be contacted by recruiters or employers when they share content at least once a week. Just make sure your status updates are always strong!
  2. Keep your statuses professional and relevant. LinkedIn is not a place for gossip or personal to-dos. Stay relevant to the industry you want to be employed in by sharing industry statistics and innovations that you find fit/interesting.
  3. Keep statuses positive. It is unprofessional to criticize co-workers or past employers on this social network. If you do this, you will quickly become unattractive to the potential recruiters searching out your profile.
  4. Post consistently. Whether you are posting multiple times a week or once a day, it is important that you stay to a schedule with your posts. Doing so will help you become more visible on the network, and allow potential employers and recruiters to find your profile more easily.

Now that you know how to go about writing status updates, and the benefits of doing so, it can be useful to learn about some do’s and don’ts or writing status updates on LinkedIn.

Don’ts:

  • Never ask directly for a job. It is too direct, awkward and doesn’t show the value you have to offer.

Do’s:

  • Share relevant professional activity and associated insights. Such as a convention you have recently attended.
  • Pose business related questions that can start a discussion that might gain the attention of recruiters/people.
  • Keep your feed filled with articles that make you look intelligent and refined in your area of expertise. Recruiters love when you do this.
  • Comment on others statuses. Think of this practice as a form of networking on LinkedIn. This practice will also help to keep you more visible on the social network.

Have a look at the video for more context and examples.


Using Social Media In Your Job Hunt – Expert Interview with Joshua Waldman

From time to time, Joshua Waldman hears from clients looking for jobs that LinkedIn just doesn’t work.

“My response is simple, ‘Have you been using it actively, or just waiting for opportunities to fall into your lap?’ ”

The key to success on LinkedIn is creating a nice-looking profile (visit here to find out if yours is good enough) and then reaching out to people. Joshua recommends setting a goal of contacting at least three people every day.

He quotes Mark Zuckerberg, who said the power of Facebook is Engineered Serendipity when discussing the networking power of all social media.

“You can engineer your own serendipity simply by putting yourself out there more,” he says. “Post. Connect. The more you do, the more chance something great will come to you.”

Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment, which among other things, offers professional LinkedIn Profile writing services. Here, he discusses best practices for using LinkedIn and other social media when hunting for your next job. Read on:


Tell us about Career Enlightenment. What services do you offer? Who should be using them?

We offer Professional LinkedIn Profile writing services, training and certification classes. Any job seeker who knows the importance of LinkedIn for their success should be working with a professional writer.

We also work with schools and government organizations to teach them how to teach social media job search skills.


What are the smartest things everyone searching for a job right now should be doing?

Networking.

That’s where jobs come from way more than job boards.

For example, my wife just graduated from school and was looking for work. She did the job board thing. But then we had some friends over for dinner and their daughter works for a temp agency. So Lily, my wife, followed up and got in their database; and her resume was flagged as a referral.

Several months later, she got a call to see if she can start the very next day at a medical imaging center. No one else was called for this opportunity. She had no competition at all.

That’s the power of networking.


How should job seekers be using social media?

Social media is an extension of someone’s networking. That’s the whole point. Every online decision you make will either improve or break down your networking.

For example, do your profiles make it easy for other people to know what you do and how you can add value to them?

Do your posts enhance your personal brand or detract from it?

When you message someone, are you taking their point of view, or are you just asking for favors?


What shouldn’t they be doing on social media?

Beyond the obvious (not posting inappropriately), the biggest mistake I see people make is not posting frequently enough.

Believe it or not. Maybe there’s a shyness, or an apology people feel. But you have every right in the world to share your voice, and for that matter to reach out to new people and ask for the connection.

Here are my recommended daily averages for posting to the big three:

Facebook: Three to five times/day
Twitter: Five to 20 times/day
LinkedIn status updates and/or groups: One to two times per day


What are some best practices for writing your LinkedIn profile?

The big gotcha when I teach resume writers this skill is to stop copying someone’s resume and putting it online.

Your LinkedIn profile is not your online resume. It’s a platform for creating meaningful connections.

When writing a LinkedIn profile, my writers always start from scratch and they focus on storytelling in the first person.

The reason why this works so well is that the reader of your profile has a screen up in front of them – about the same distance away from where you would be if you two were having coffee. It’s a very intimate medium.

When they read your profile, they’ve already looked at your photo, so they have your voice running in their head. So you want to talk to them like you would anyone you were having coffee with.

Another biggie is the use of the professional headline. Most people just have their job title there.

Although it’s good to have your job title there, chances are it hasn’t even come close to using up all 120 characters of space in that area. This is a great opportunity to tell someone why they should click on your profile out of all the others on the search results page.


How are employers researching recruits online today?

According to Jobvite, about 94 percent of all recruiters surveyed use LinkedIn to source candidates.

That means they open up a people search, enter some keywords, specify a location, and get a list of possible matches in order of connection. First-degree connections appear first and so forth.

And they look at pictures and headlines to determine which profiles to click on.


What should job seekers do to shore up their online reputations ahead of their job search?

First, you should just Google yourself. Your future boss is doing it right now. Do you like what they’ll see?

If not, you actually need to start publishing more content. This will essentially bury the bad stuff and start to grow your SERP (search engine results page).

A great tool you can use, which is free, is the Brandyourself.com Google audit.


What’s one of your favorite stories about a job hunter leveraging social media to land a job?

I had a blog reader who wanted to work for Symantec in Ohio.

She started networking like crazy with LinkedIn. After three months or so, she saw a job open up on a job board saved search. So she applied.

But then she called her closest contact at Symantec that she cultivated over the previous months to say that she applied and would they mind letting HR know. The contact did this, her resume was flagged as a referral, and she was called the very next day.

A few weeks later she was hired.

This kind of thing happens all the time.


What other tried-and-true advice can you offer job seekers today? Something you find yourself repeating over and over?

First, know your message. Know what you’re good at and why someone would want to hire you, your value.

Second, translate that message into social media profiles. Make sure your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Profiles all reflect that message clearly. You can also use Instagram to get more social media activity, includes even buy likes on Instagram to help you get more mediatics.

Finally, use that platform to initiate info interviews with as many people as possible. I have some templates you can use for that for free here.

Your Profile Picture Matters During Your Job Search. Learn How to Get a Perfect One

With an extensive amount of job search activities taking place online, having a good profile picture can make you stand out from the pack of applicants.

While choosing a candidate based on looks is obviously not allowed, a profile picture does have an impact and does influence the selection process.

Since you have some control over your profile pic, you need to make sure it’s creating a positive impression on recruiters and hiring managers.

Keep reading to learn more about its importance and how to have a great profile picture.


HIRING MANAGERS WILL GOOGLE YOU. SO PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD.

When you’re applying for a position, it has become common practice for hiring managers to search for candidates online. That means they will likely find many of your social media accounts and briefly check them out.

Studies say it takes only 100 milliseconds to draw a conclusion about you from your profile picture. This first impression can be completely different depending on your expression and other aspects of your picture.

In one such study, participants were given photos of two people and asked to pick which person had higher levels of extraversion and trustworthiness.

The results were interesting. When just slight facial expressions were modified in the photos, the conclusions drawn by participants were quite different.

profile picture job search

Recent research shows that your profile picture goes a long way in affecting your friends’ reactions as well. For instance, if you ask a friend to do a favor during your job search, they’re much more likely to do it if they like your profile photo.

Since a picture is only a moment in time, it can’t possibly capture our entire personality. Therefore it is vital that you pick a photo that puts your best professional foot forward.


WHY WE OFTEN PICK THE WRONG PROFILE PHOTO

Scientists have seen in study after study that we often judge ourselves a lot less harshly than we do others. This principle is called “self-enhancement.” And we do this by believing that we’re more objective than our peers. In a sense, we believe that we think more clearly than other people.

Because we believe we’re being objective, we don’t often pick the photo that does us justice.

We judge photos of ourselves differently from how other people do. This happens because we know too much about ourselves and have insider information which others do not. We have stored up so much information about who we are and how we think we look over the years, that we have trouble being objective.

A perfect example could be those photos you took while on your hiking trip. Once you got to the top of the mountain, you were feeling proud and confident that you made it to the top. And so you might choose one of those pictures assuming others will be able to see the pride, confidence and determination, that you were feeling. Unfortunately, what we’re feeling in the moment often doesn’t translate into the photos themselves. That leaves a lot of space for others to interpret the photos as they see.

Additionally, we may have difficulty getting past our feelings about ourselves. If we have a feature we dislike, we might enhance its importance in our mind. Therefore, when looking at a photo, familiar thoughts might enter our mind and we might discard any photo that we believe highlights our flaws.

This tendency influences which photos we choose. Although a certain photo might have our best smile and a great composition, we might get rid of it because we feel like it shows our perceived flaw. And contrastingly, if we have a favorite feature, we might trash any photos that don’t highlight it even if they’re not the best photos in the bunch.


GET THE PERFECT PROFILE PICTURE

In an effort to help people get the perfect professional profile photo, PhotoFeeler conducted an 800 profile pic study and got 60,000 ratings of their perceived influence, likeability, and competence.

The photos went through an extensive process in order to control for variables like darkness and brightness in order to give the most accurate results.

So what were the study’s takeaways?

Eyes

  • Take off the sunglasses. In the study likeability dropped for profile pics with shades.
  • On the other hand, eyeglasses actually increased scores in perceived competence and likeability.
  • Eye obstruction from hair, glare, or a shadow didn’t drop a photo’s likeability. But its ratings on competence and influence did suffer.
  • Slightly squinted eyes got higher scores for competence, likeability, and influence. It’s been shown that wide open eyes denote fear while “squinched” eyes portray confidence.

Face

  • Photos that have a shadow line outlining the jaw increased scores across the board.
  • If a photo didn’t have any smile, likeability took a huge drop while perceived competence and influence also fell.
  • Smiling delivered higher scores across the board. Interestingly, a closed mouth smile boosted scores about half as much on likeability and didn’t affect competence or influence.

Body

  • Formal clothing increased ratings of competence and influence dramatically. This is an important tip for job seekers.
  • A bust (shoulders & head) or torso (head to waist) shot is preferable. Face-only close-ups dropped likeability scores and full-body shots showed a drop in competency.
  • In a surprise, PhotoFeeler’s study showed that where the photo was taken had no statistical impact on results.

Photo Editing

  • If a photo is too dark like one that mimics nighttime or a darkroom, the likeability scores dropped.
  • On the other hand if the colors are too highly saturated, likeability, competence, and influence scores all dropped.
  • Black and white photos did not produce any statistically significant results.

best profile photo for social media job search

 


As we’ve seen, your profile picture plays a huge part in your online presence.

And if you’re looking for a new job, spending some time finding the best picture is well worth the effort. As salesmen and marketers have known for a long time, image is important. So now that people are able to see what you look like online with a simple search, investing time into your profile picture is not vanity, it is pragmatism.

You can either implement the tips in this article by yourself, or hire a professional photographer to help.

And if you want insights into what your profile photo says about you, try an analysis by the PhotoFeeler tool.