Social Proof: Where Online Presence Meets Personal Branding

by Meg Guiseppi on March 11, 2013

In executive job search, social media and social networking matter.

Social proof in executive job search

Are you an executive job seeker who resists having an online presence?

Maybe you’re concerned about privacy issues.

Maybe you just don’t want to put information about yourself “out there“.

Unfortunately, perhaps, the days when you could hide your head in the sand are over.

Did you know that an estimated 90% of employers used social networks and social media – known as social recruiting – to find, assess and validate talent in 2012?

Executive recruiters and hiring decision makers seek “social proof” to confirm you are who you say you are, and to learn more about you.

Social proof – your social media activity and the information that resides online about you – is a personal marketing strategy that lends credibility to the claims you’ve made about yourself verbally, and in your executive resume and other career materials.

Hiring professionals know that job seekers are less likely to fudge or exaggerate in their LinkedIn profile (and other online profiles) than they are in their paper or digital career documents (resume, biography, cover letters, etc.).

We all hesitate, and rightly so, to post anything online, for all the world to scrutinize, that is less than true, and can be outed by colleagues, employers or others who know better.

People assessing you as a job candidate will turn to the Internet, and Google “your name” to find supporting evidence that corroborates your personal brand and your career claims.

They want to find plenty of relevant, diverse search results for you to help them determine your good fit. The more on-brand results they find that align with their needs, the more persuasive your candidacy is to them.

Be aware that discrepancies between the documents you provide employers and what they find about you online can red-flag your candidacy.

Having a vibrant, far-reaching online presence is no longer optional.

Social proof helps position you as a good-fit hiring choice and as an up-to-date social media-savvy executive who knows how to operate in the digital age.

Related posts:

Online Presence and Personal Brand Management: 5 Things to Remember

Self-Google or Doom Your Executive Job Search

How Twitter Helped Me Build My Personal Brand

photo by DonkeyHotey

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi March 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for commenting, Steve.

You bring up a good point. Job seekers may indeed land a job using the least effective methods . . . eventually. And they may truly believe they know better than people like you and me, who urge job seekers to embrace the new methods, including building an online presence.

But at what cost? Every week that they’re unemployed costs them money. Or, if they’re still employed while looking for a new gig, a protracted job search keeps them from landing perhaps somewhere better, for longer than need be.

2 Stephen "Steve" Q Shannon March 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Meg, No doubt you have “those” folks in your tribe or sphere who would rather play in “offal”, than acknowledge there is an Internet, Social Networking, or the need to be found. The use of the word “offal” is quoted
from one of my wife’s company founders. While not as vehement, several otherwise “with it” individuals, I am persuaded, will not bend before
I take my final breath. Interestingly these candidates, sure it takes longer, pursue their goals the “old fashioned” way and end up on their feet, victorious in their thinking. Maybe I should be happy for them, because I moved on unscathed by their resistance. Your advocate! sQs

3 Stephen "Steve" Q Shannon March 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Meg, No doubt you have “those” folks in your tribe or sphere who would rather play in “offal”, than acknowledge there is an Internet, Social Networking, or the need to be found. The use of the word “offal” is quoted
from one of my wife’s company founders. While not as vehement, several otherwise “with it” individuals, I am persuaded, will not bend before
I take my final breath. Interestingly these candidates, sure it takes longer, pursue their goals the “old fashioned” way and end up on their feet, victorious in their thinking. Maybe I should be happy for them, because I moved on unscathed by their resistance. Your advocate! sQs

4 Meg Guiseppi March 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

Thanks for commenting, Pat, and for your keen insight.

Like it or not, job seekers who want to gain a competitive edge (and who doesn’t?) need to have a solid online presence, backing up their brand and value to their target employers.

5 Pat March 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Change is tough, but with the batting average for hiring the right people so low, every little bit of validated information helps. This all circles around demonstrable behavior and social networks used correctly can validate such behavior.

6 Pat March 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Change is tough, but with the batting average for hiring the right people so low, every little bit of validated information helps. This all circles around demonstrable behavior and social networks used correctly can validate such behavior.

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