Find your online voice

When I first looked into developing my online personal brand I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing or where to begin. After reading a few articles with their own tips and words of advice the fog is starting to clear a bit I realised I was approaching things all wrong. Some of the articles I read said I should keep my online persona and my actual persona separate, maybe this works for some people but not for me. I have a varied set of interests and that I should focus on one topic and work on building an audience around that subject felt like I wasn’t giving a clear picture of the type of I am by neglecting my other interests such as baking and reading. The problem with this approach is I can’t give every topic the full attention it deserves, at the moment my Twitter feed is full of posts relating to mental health, social media, technology with the odd post about baking and exercise adding the personal touch showing that I do have a life and interests that may attract a new group of people who also bake and have an interest in robots being developed to mimic human traits.

I need to find a happy middle ground that worked for me, a mixture of posts that Once I had worked out that in order for me to be comfortable posting online and building up a network I needed to be more ‘human’, more myself. Remain professional but understand the people I engage with online and whose posts I share haven’t met me in person, they don’t know my personality all of which I need to convey through an online post.

This new approach seems to be working with Twitter and I’m trying to utilise some of the resources on there to help my bother find a job by sharing his digital artwork. His Asperger’s does hinder him in some ways, new people can unnerve him but don’t feel sorry for him as his has a lot of positive traits that any employer would be lucky to have him once both parties get past the initial obstacles. LinkedIn I’ll keep it more professional for now until I find a voice for this network that I am comfortable with, this is still a work in progress.

I know I have been lax in posting on this blog, but on here I have always tried to be myself. Blogging is the one place where I have written about my interests, things that have caught my attention in the news to work related pieces. I probably should have put more thought into the type of image I wanted my blog to have or what personality I wanted it to have, but over thinking all this would just stress me out instead of having fun with it. Which I think I do, I’ve written about random people fly tipping to the lack of forks in the work kitchen, I have also been serious when writing work related articles.

If you want to know about creating an online personal brand than there are lots of articles out there to help you, some will get straight to the point others will be very long winded that you will lose interest within the first paragraph. They will have one thing in common, be you; be genuine, be real. This is your selling point, talk about the things that interest you, make you laugh, make you cry, share your knowledge and experiences but don’t be fake. You can’t please all the people all the time but the first person you might as well please is yourself the rest will eventually fall into place. For some an online persona is about building an audience for their brand for others it is a therapeutic experience. You can think about how you want network, market yourself and your blog once you have found your online voice. Once you achieve that there will be no stopping you.

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Social branding: building my online personality

Not so long ago I wrote a blog called ‘ Social branding; who am I? Since then I have been working on creating and developing my online personality by sharing information, images that interest me and may possibly interest others. Along the way I’m making a few discoveries about myself, realising I know a bit more about digital marketing than I thought which is a boost for my self confidence. I’ve been working on my Twitter and LinkedIn profiles with a mixed bag of success, I’ll go into more detail below.

Twitter

I’m not embarrassed to say that in the past I wasn’t a Twitter person, since using it for work and attending some communication conferences I have got an insight to how I could effectively use this social network without sharing every aspect of life, nothing wrong in being selective.

  • Less is definitely more
  • Don’t go nuts with the hashtags
  • Be genuine and not so self centered.
  • Put some thought into the content I’m sharing, is it something my followers would be interested in.
  •  Don’t forget to have fun with it.
All sounds simple enough when you think about it
  • Put some effort into building your online persona,
  • Look for articles on your topic of interest
  • Like and share other people’s posts
  • Write and share your own words of wisdom, this part I sometimes struggle with, but something I am slowly but surely getting to grips with.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t

I’ll admit that I don’t always know what I’m doing, there is a lot of information online some of it can be conflicting and down right confusing. Eventually I will have a much more structured approach  but at the moment the mixture of structure and ‘winging it’ is paying off.

My number followers are increasing which is good though the numbers do tend to fluctuate.

Followers April-May

I noticed in one day my number of followers had fallen by 10, but by the end of the day I had regained the number of followers originally lost. As you can see I have been posting a lot of message related to technology. It’s linked to my new found interest of artificial intelligence, it’s something that both worries and fascinates me at the same time.

LinkedIn

I use this social network differently to Twitter. With Twitter I feel I have more freedom to post a mixture of posts that show my different interests from a digital communications point of view to baking and about the exercise classes I attend. LinkedIn has a more professional air and not really a place to post how I profusely glowed during a weekly Zumba class.

LinkedIn is a work in progress

I have updated my profile, even went as far as filling in the summary section about myself. If I keep going in the direction that I am it is only a matter of time that I too will be confidently sharing my own words of wisdom. No I just need to be a bit more active and get involved, comment on posts and join some of the groups.

The one things I have learnt and I would say is one of the most important pieces of advice given on this journey is that no matter what your topic of interest is, it is important to find your own voice, be yourself. Just because you can’t be seen doesn’t mean your followers won’t be able to see through the fakeness.

Suffering from FOMO?

Who doesn’t like another acronym finding its way into the language as clearly there just aren’t enough? FOMO isn’t new it has been doing the rounds for a while, I just didn’t know what it meant. Though it may sound like it could be a swear word, it isn’t, FOMO is Fear Of Missing Out. So much so that people develop an even more so unhealthy relationship with social media that can lead to anxiety, overstretching yourself to try and go to every event going whether you want to or not just in case you miss out on something interesting. The constant updating of status’s; how babies are able to use the toilet from birth, holiday pictures, going to a high profile, exclusive events is creating a feeling of inadequacy in others the feeling that their lives aren’t exciting or as fulfilling, even though we know that logic dictates that just because those pictures may look great they don’t really tell the whole story.

With easier access to our online profiles through a range of media outlets, you don’t have to wait until you can get onto a computer to post a message, you can tell all your followers what you are doing in real time through an app on your phone. Trying to maintain that kind of image and keep up with others sounds exhausting, it’s no wonder that the constant checking and updating of is creating obsessed, burnt out individuals aka FOMO. Sounds dramatic but think about it, before technology if you felt the green eyed monster rearing its ugly head when a friend shared details of their excellent holiday to the Carribbean you could walk away and forget about it, avoid seeing their holiday snaps. Now it’s smack bang in your face all over your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. There is no escape.

It doesn’t stop with your social circle FOMO is infiltrating the workplace, with the fear of missing out on an important meeting or not being involved in a project even if it isn’t relevant to you. Let’s not forget LinkedIn, got to keep that profile up to date, have people endorse your skills, updating your status etc. Instead of encouraging, supporting, empowering each other indirectly we’re tapping into people insecurities and making them feel low.

I’m bashing FOMO a bit here but I wonder how much of this behaviour is age related with people establishing themselves and figuring out who they are. I’m nearly 40 and am still developing as a person with opinions, interests changing constantly but my relationship with Facebook and LinkedIn is no longer as consistent. Twitter is another story. Even with the social networks shares are going down its popularity slowly waning I am working on boosting my profile and have found myself updating daily and checking to see if my number of followers has increased / fallen. FOMO is like a disease it gets hold of you little by little until you are hooked, its ok I only have this problem with Twitter there is still hope I can wean myself back to a healthy relationship with the network without compromising my own sanity.

Amongst the sea of negativity surrounding FOMO there was a positive response to a question that was posted on Quora and shared on Huffington Post about dealing with FOMO. Don’t let it control you, you control it but taking the positives from other people’s interests and experiences that you wouldn’t have considered before. Take part in things that would have otherwise bypassed you and not just because others are doing it. Use FOMO to develop and create a happier, confident you.
With that outlook who wouldn’t want a bit of FOMO in their life?

Social personal branding; who am I?

It has been a while since I have written a post about personal branding, so why now? There could be some potential employment changes in the horizon for me which got me thinking about my own digital branding. A lot has changed in my world in the past few years so naturally has my attitude and outlook has as well changes which should be reflected in how I brand myself going forward. First I need to figure how I am going to do this and what type of person I want to show to the digital world?

How I used social media in the past compared to now has changed, I haven’t been as focused on the changes and developments happening in the social media world or how it still plays a significant role in people’s lives, in some cases consuming them. Love it or hate it social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it has evolved into a world all of its own. I decide what to share and how much online, common sense should still be used even when promoting oneself.

In the past most of my Twitter post were related to the type of job I was in at the time i.e. jobs boards, job searching. Even with my blog I would alternate posts between those that were work related with ones that were linked to what was going on in my personal world.

I have drifted away from Facebook now mostly liking posts that appear in my newsfeed, If I do post something it is usually linked to my job or something I have been tagged in.

My LinkedIn profile hasn’t been touched for several months, only to update my profile with my current employment description and even then that addition doesn’t really provide enough information about the job I actually do. Shame on me, entirely my own fault. Some LinkedIn users would argue that over time LinkedIn has lost its way from what it was originally meant to be; a business networking online platform instead of now being viewed as Facebook for professionals with users commenting not always on the skill of a fellow user but on how they look when they update their profile picture or even the type of picture used. Despite this LinkedIn is still credible and a good way to network, share business experiences, look for a new job or to headhunt a potential future employee. I’ve hyped up LinkedIn a bit here however like other social networks one size does not fit all. In a blog post written by Things Career Related, the writer though an advocate of LinkedIn discusses the possibility that LinkedIn is not for everyone. It is possible that I am becoming one of those people, I haven’t made a firm decision yet about what I want to do with my LinkedIn profile time will tell.

As you can see, I have been working on reviving my blog trying to post something at least once a week. I think I stopped blogging partly due to time constraints but also because I thought I had nothing to write about. Looking back on old posts I realised I do have a lot to say, its the way that I choose to share it. I wrote about a variety of things from baking, to the job sector I was currently employed in, some of it was on serious topics others had a more dry sense of humour tone. It was just a matter of rediscovering the things I enjoyed, discovering new things, topics of discussion that I thought were relevant.

The plan going forward is to continue writing my blog, if nothing else I enjoy writing and blogging is a great way to get some of my thoughts down on digital paper. Surprisingly since spending a bit of time each day on Twitter and sharing articles that interest me I’ve seen an increase in followers, heading in the right direction even with my Twitter bio only being seven words long! Facebook I’ll leave it in the shadows for now visiting it for now. LinkedIn has potential but one step at a time.

So who am I? There are many different sides to me that keep evolving but for now I am another digital world wanderer intrigued by how technology and the virtual world has encompassed our lives, but lets not forget the baker in me without technology and social media I wouldn’t be able to link with other excellent bakers and find some amazing recipes.

Image from www.pixabay.com

Top 10 trending YouTube Videos of 2013

I use YouTube mostly to watch cake decorating tutorials so have decided to expand my YouTube experience and check out the top ten trending videos (UK) for 2013.

We’ll start at number 10.

Where teachers have failed Peppa Pig has succeeded! Yep Peppa Pig teaching the alphabet has made it into the top ten with the video titled; Learn the Alphabet with Peppa Pig!

At number 9 we have PEOPLE ARE AWESOME 2013 (Hadouken! – Levitate)

OMG! The stunts in this video left me speechless! The dangerous stunts shown in this video to me should defy all logic. I wouldn’t advise anyone to copy any of them!

Onto number 8 with Francine Lewis with her many impressions – Week 2 Auditions | Britain’s Got Talent 2013

At first I wasn’t to sure about this. Then I watched the video, the entertainment factor was there but did it deserve to be in the top ten? Approx 6,182,261 (taken 23/12/2013) thought so.

Number 7 saw Tom Daley share a ‘secret’ with approx 10,202,552 viewers with Tom Daley: Something I want to say. I think one of the reasons this video went viral is because of the past speculation of ‘is he’, ‘isn’t he’, does it really matter what is his sexual preference? To some it would appear so.

Number 6Harlem Shake (original army edition). If you hadn’t heard of the Harlem Shake craze then where have you been! This video was short, sweet, and made me laugh.

Number 5. I wasn’t sure what to make of this video; asdfmovie6 it’s a cartoon strip of short animated stories. Quirky and silly at the same time. Bit of light humour is good for everyone 😉

Onto Number 4. If you remember and loved the American television series,The Fresh Prince of Bel Air starring Will Smith, you will love this!! This video definitely deserved to be in the top ten! Will & Jaden Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Alfonso Ribeiro Rap! – The Graham Norton Show – BBC One

Number 3. Britain’s Got Talent Winner, 1st audition. Attraction perform their stunning shadow act – Week 1 Auditions | Britain’s Got Talent 2013. This act is brilliant, you might get a bit teary eyed.

Nearly there! Number 2; My Wedding Speech.  If you know of the UK band McFly, the lead singer got married this year, hence his wedding speech. I can see why it has had so many views, it definitely had the awww factor.

Woo hoo – made it to Number 1! How Animals Eat Their Food | MisterEpicMann. I had not heard of this video, so was a bit intrigued. Watch the face of the guy on the left, he tries to keep a straight face and carry on eating but I’m sure there was one point he had to try an regain his stoic composure.

That’s it, the top 10 trending YouTube videos of 2013, what did you think of them?

Cyberstalking; Who’s watching you?

In today’s world we have become reliant on technology and social networks to share information and to keep in contact with people whether it is on a personal or professional level.  Through the internet we are opening ourselves up to complete strangers and those who are just being curious. Sometimes  this curiosity could be completely harmless; perhaps you have a shared interest or are wanting to build a network. Other times it could take on a more sinister and obsessive nature. We’ll run Social network search’s, Google them etc. The concern is when some people take this level of curiosity interest to the next stage. Whether this is becoming obsessed with someone or by using the information found online against their victim, we then migrate to the world of cyberstalking.

601px-Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking and Cyberbullying can go hand in hand, depends on what is being communicated. Bullying we see as someone being verbally or physically abused. Cyberstalking is an element of abuse. The target of cyberstalking may or may not know their stalker. Yet the cyberstalker will unknowingly enter their victims online world to obtain personal information to be used against their victim. To track their daily activities, setup fake online profiles, all the while disrupting their intended victims lives.

What is cyberstalking?

This form of stalking involves ‘the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization’.

This form of harassment has reached the scale where now one in five Americans  affected by unwanted contact.

A study conducted comparing stalking with cyberstalking discovered that the effects of cyberstalking especially the financial consequences were much higher than those affected by ‘physical stalking’. Those affected by cyberstalkers had to change jobs, email address, avoid events, move homes etc.

With the advancement in technology and the different ways it can be used to victimise an individual the law is still trying to keep up. According to the article ‘Is the prosecution of cyberstalking and online harassment in the UK a postcode lottery’, a hypothetical situation was emailed to the UK police forces, the CPS, five solicitors, a barrister, a lecturer in criminology and a professor of law. There were mixed responses with many of the responding police forces being unable to comment deeming the email as a freedom on information request. The solicitors/barrister responding that the hypothetical scenario of the email would be deemed a criminal offence. Depending on the police force the response was they would have to investigate to discover if a crime had been committed. Though there are laws in place such as the Harassment Act 1997 and the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

These acts were created at a time where cyberstalking would not have been so prevalent, would they still be effective in the stance against cyberstalking.  The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, contains stalking but has no mention of cyberstalking.

Are the social media sites to blame for the increase in cyberstalking?

As mentioned in my previous posts, Twitter does not police their website. Users are able to report tweets they find offensive or threatened by, though the site may or may not remove the content.

Other sites such as Facebook are more likely to take action against those or are reported to them, though this may take some time.

This article highlights how ‘half of stalkers are ex partners’. The use of social media such as Facebook to remain friends with an ex-partner may obstruct the process of healing and moving on from a past relationship.

This article is not saying you should not have an ex-partner in your social network or that you should cut ties with them. You should use your own judgement and assess the situation. If it was a particularly difficult break up, is it wise for them to remain having access to your social network? These days the likes of Facebook and Twitter are extensions of your world, containing past, present and future aspects of your life.

Cyberstalking is not reserved for just ex partners or even to adults for that matter. Children have been victims of cyberstalking; we only need to look at the recent events that have taken place in Canada and the USA. These victims in this case were not only cyberstalked but also cyberbullied in some cases resulting in tragic consequences.

Tips on how to prevent being cyberstalked

This isn’t to say you should be looking over your shoulder all the time or be cautious of every friend request you receive. There are steps you can take to protect yourself.

  1. Ensure you have a strong password which you change frequently.
  2. Always log out of your computer when not in use. Use a screen saver that uses a password.
  3. Be cautious with who has physical access to your computer as spyware can be used to track your pc and mobile phone usage.
  4. Remember to update your computer’s security software.
  5. Ensure you have the highest privacy settings on your social networks to prevent those outside your networks having access to your information.
  6. Run your name through an internet search engine to see what information the search returns. You could be surprised as to how much information about you is out there without you even knowing.
  7. Be cautious who you choose to connect with on your social networking sites.
  8. Be careful when posting photos online and if they contain information about where you work / live.  Photos’ can be found through search engines, downloaded onto computers.
  9. Avoid using location based services such ‘checking in’ to restaurants. Any information that can track your whereabouts.
  10. Be careful what information you post online. Anything that would indicate your location, events will give ammunition to your stalker.

Despite taking every precaution and the unfortunate happens, you become cyberstalked take immediate action. The sooner you collate everything and go to the authorities the sooner action can be taken to deal with the situation.

Our online attitudes and the need to cram as much as possible into one day we develop the habit of living out our lives in both the virtual and physical world. Making it easier for complete strangers to cross personal boundaries and enter our worlds without an invite.

You can also view this article on www.jobserve.com.

References

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-raj-persaud/valentines-day-love-stalking_b_2676822.html

http://womensissues.about.com/od/violenceagainstwomen/f/Cyberstalking.htm

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cyberstalking-is-a-real-crime-one-in-five-americans-affected-by-unwanted-contact-186985781.html

http://womensissues.about.com/od/violenceagainstwomen/a/CyberPrevention.htm

They said what!?!

There has been a lot of media attention being given to mostly the Twitter trolls.

Twitter is not the only social media site to have its fair share of trolls but is the one to receive the most attention recently.

The argument surrounding Twitter and other social media sites is the anonymity of a troll and that many high-profile people have been verbally attacked. Revisiting the ongoing debate as to how those that are found to have sent the abusive messages should be dealt with and should social media be monitored.

To my understanding the virtual social world removes human interaction and is not always likened to the ‘real’ world. Users prefer to have the option to create a different persona for themselves.

Social media encourages users to be free thinking and message these thoughts, most of the time without any legal repercussions, and knowing networks will protect their identity.

So why protect the trolls, what about those that are on the receiving end of the offensive messages? Many would say if the person believes in what they are tweeting then why hide behind a pseudonym, why not reveal themselves and stand by their comments?

There have been discussions of policing Twitter, but is this a realistic task? In reality there are laws against most forms of discrimination but can these effectively be applied to the virtual world?

What guidelines would be in place to determine if a message is offensive and if the messages have been posted under an assumed identity then isn’t it up to the network provider to provide the relevant authorities with the real identity of this person?

An incident involving the Olympic diver Tom Daley receiving  homophobic tweets was publicised. Despite the nature of the tweets and knowing the identification of the ‘tweeter’ no charges were brought against them.  According the Communications Act 2003 it is an offence to send a communication using a public electronic communications network if that communication is ‘grossly offensive’ In this case it was decided the message aimed at Tom Daley was ‘not so grossly offensive that criminal charges need to be brought

The legal system has to rethink how they approach matters involving social media. ‘The fact that offensive remarks may not warrant a full criminal prosecution does not necessarily mean that no action should be taken.’

In this incident the employers of the person responsible felt it necessary to take action and suspend the individual whilst the investigation took place.

There are positive benefits to the anonymity of Twitter as mentioned in this article, ‘Tackling the Twitter trolls’.

‘It gets tricky because Twitter can be used anonymously very positively, such as by journalists or people in political danger, to get information out. That is the beauty of Twitter. It’s a double-edged sword. If trolls are identified, the same rule could be applied to those using that anonymity for good.’

Conclusion

The social world is global, I personally don’t see how it would be realistically possible to bring charges against each and every single person who tweets a ‘grossly offensive’ message, assuming that message is even brought to the attention of the relevant authorities.

As much as we would like networks such as Twitter & Facebook to step up and take action against those that are seen to bully other users it is a major task. In the short-term the likes of Twitter and Facebook can take steps to prevent recognised people from abusing their freedom of speech, as that’s how I see it, but in the long-term there is little preventing the troll from returning. They can create new accounts with different email addresses, use different names, change IP address etc making it difficult to track them.

We may not be able to fully eliminate this behaviour which sadly is part of human nature, but we don’t have to sit back and take it either. Take back the power and control.

  1. Ignore them. Think ‘Do not feed the troll’.
  2. Delete comments made and block the user.
  3. Report the troll to the administrator

References

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-19661950

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/no-charges-over-abusive-tom-daley-tweet-8159727.html

http://www.bandt.com.au/news/digital/tackling-the-twitter-trolls

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/9555382/Twitter-abuse-the-ugly-face-of-microblogging.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/9555074/Twitter-ruling-full-statement-from-Director-of-Public-Prosecutions.html

Can Social Media replace Job Boards?

Today social media has a more prominent role in people’s lives there leading to the possibility of job boards being replaced. How true this is only time will tell, but if we look at the here and now it is unlikely this will ever happen. If anything as technology, job seekers and recruiters needs change so will job boards.

What is social networking?

According to the online Oxford Dictionaries the definition of a social network is….

noun

  • 1a network of social interactions and personal relationships.
  • 2a dedicated website or other application which enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc..

Using the same website to find the definition so Social Media the website

noun

[treated as singular or plural]

  • websites and applications used for social networking.

As the definition states the purpose of social networking sites was just that, to network and communicate with other likeminded people. Communication began with email, online chat rooms and online messaging tools. Take it another step further and we have Social Media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Social Networking to Social Media

Technology is advancing at a rate that our human brains are trying to keep up with. Hence the need to be constantly engaged. To adhere to these changes social media websites have had to evolve and diversify.

Today social media is an integral part of almost any businesses marketing strategy and has become a useful tool in the job seeking / recruiting world. 10 years ago how many people even knew about social media let alone use it?

LinkedIn was found in 2002 and launched in May 2003. The following year saw the launch of MySpace followed by Facebook. Back then MySpace was outshining Facebook, today it is more a case of MySpace who?

Social Media and Employment

The percentage of employers using social media sites in particular LinkedIn, to find suitable candidates has increased. These figures alone do not say enough, many companies will use more than one social media or use several in conjunction with each other to find future potential employees.

2011 2012
 

80%

98%

 

50%

33%

45%

42%

LinkedIn

Useful tool to network with others, increase brand awareness

 Facebook

Increase brand awareness and interact with candidates.

Twitter

Good for increasing brand exposure and interacting with those who wish to follow the company on Twitter.

Employers will choose to use social media for a number of reasons.

  • Appears cost effective
  • Increase the company’s online presence and grow their own network
  • Find candidates they would not find through other means of recruitment
  • Target a large number of people

There are countless articles floating around on the online information highway about how important it is for job seekers and job recruiters to create a social profile and to have a social footprint.

Recruiting via social media has its pros and cons.

Pros

Cons

Show ‘human emotive’ side Revealing incriminating pictures, wall posts etc.
Create online portfolio Not having a complete profile so contains vague or incomplete details
Encourages job seekers to be creative with their profiles and online CV / Resume Use it as a method to screen potential employees

Social Media and Job Boards

Job boards are companies as well and have not buried their heads in the sand hoping social media is a fad that will eventually die out.

Back in 1994 JobServe was the first Job Board to email job postings to job seekers. Since then the website has continued to evolve trying to keep one step ahead of its competitors through the use of technology, better matching and a strong job seeker experience. This includes embracing the social media world.

In terms of the big three social media sites, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Our follower numbers are small, that by no means is a negative reflection on the success of our social media campaigns. Traffic numbers and user activity have improved since actively promoting our online social brand.

For the price of advertising a job posting on JobServe companies are entitled to services that the free online social media options alone cannot offer plus the fact the users of a job board are looking for a job so targeting the actual users recruiters need.

CV Products

Job Featuring Products

Banner and Marketing products

Advertisers can promote themselves or their products via banners

  • Headline Banner.
  • Keyword Banner.
  • Random Banner.

Learning Zone

Promote your learning/training courses as well as your company to job seekers who are keen to advance their career.

Conclusion

Job boards have chosen to use social media and the networking sites to their advantage.

JobServe are able to communicate with their users and companies and find out how their jobs seeking and advertising needs have changed and incorporating these changes into their website.

Useful Links

http://www.onlineschools.org/visual-academy/history-of-social-networking/

http://thesocialskinny.com/100-more-social-media-statistics-for-2012/

http://humanresources.about.com/od/selectemployees/qt/why-use-social-media-for-recruiting-and-screening.htm

http://mashable.com/2011/10/23/how-recruiters-use-social-networks-to-screen-candidates-infographic/

Now where’s my purse?

Perhaps I’m being somewhat naive but I thought building up your brand via social media took some effort and involved providing relevant content, engaging with existing and future followers?

Then I discover this known practice of ‘buying followers’, giving the illusion that a social page is more popular than it actually is. What’s that all about?

I have seen articles flying around recently regarding the twitter profile of Mitt Romney. Analysis carried out by security firm Barracuda Networks ‘noticed that Mitt Romney in particular had recently hugely increased his following, which rose from 673,002 to 789,924 followers on a single day, 21 July, an odd-looking 17 percent rise.’ via http://news.techworld.com

According to Barracuda’s investigations being able to purchase followers regardless of whether those accounts are real or fake is not that difficult to do. I decided to have a look online and see for myself.

Companies that offer this service have different methods of ‘selecting’ the right followers for you. Take this website for example, buyactivefans, their selling point is that they target only those people ‘who already fit your idea of ideal consumers’.

From buyrealfollowers you could buy up to 1,000 followers for as little as $17, that increase could (not always) make a difference to the attention your profile receives. However there is no mention as to the ‘type’ of followers you would receive.

Then we have Barracuda’s finding who were ‘able to purchase between 20,000 and 70,000 bogus accounts for the three profiles from one a clutch of eBay sellers and third-party websites offering them for around $18 per thousand.’

It seems with the right website you could buy a relatively large number of ‘followers’ at a reasonable price.

Is it worth going down this route?

Through the power of Google I came across the article ‘Should you Buy Twitter Followers? One Business Woman’s Story’ written by Kelly Kautz. In her own investigation Ms Kautz purchased 3,000 followers at a cost of $39 ($15 for 1,000 followers, to improve her Twitter search ranking decided to purchase a further 2,000 at $24 )

Overall Ms Kautz findings were ‘if engagement is what you are looking for, buying Twitter followers is probably not the best solution’.

In the short run you will increase your followers but at what cost? Mentioned in Ms Kautz article was the lack of control she had over the type of followers she received, resulting in her tweet feed being ‘overcome by dumb tweets…’

JobServe

Compared to its competitors, JobServe’s Twitter and Facebook follower numbers are low. JobServe has only been actively working on its social media campaign for the last 10 months. During this time JobServe has seen its number of followers steadily increase, this has only been achieved by working on JobServe’s social networks and seeing what works for its followers and what doesn’t.

In a nutshell, if you want to create a successful social media campaign then put in the required hard work and effort and the followers will come, if they don’t then re-evaluate what you’re doing.

Don’t cheat, it’s just not nice!

Websites & LinkedIn Groups I’ve found useful

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

http://socialmediatoday.com/

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Strategies-Tips-on-Social-Media-3138374?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Social-Media-News-3255188?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

Your resume: More than a sheet of paper

Your resume is to promote yourself, highlighting your skills and suitability for a position in a short space of time. The way we interact and communicate has evolved as has the way we present ourselves to potential employers.

Here are a few old and new creative ways to vamp your resume.

Standard Resume

From the snail mail days to the present we have the trustworthy standard resume.

Over the years this veteran style of promoting yourself has had an overhaul of its own. The different type of standard resumes being broken down in to the following.

We have 4 main types of resumes:

Reverse Chronological resume

Functional resume

Combination / Hybrid resume

Targeted resume

Resume images provided by Dummies.com

The style of resume you choose to adopt will depend on the position you are applying for.

Visual Resumes

Video Resumes

This style of resume was created back in the 1980’s with the introduction of video resumes

This visual resume enables prospective employers to not only hear why this person is suited for a position but also see if this person is a fit for the company.

With the introduction of DVDs, blue ray and YouTube videos the conventional VHS has become a thing of the past. Nevertheless this method of attracting attention to yourself enable you be creative and promote yourself to the masses.

Here are a few examples of a visual resume from YouTube.

Here are a few examples of a visual resume from YouTube.

Google Video Resume-2011

Christopher A.Miller’s Video Resume 2012 

Online Website Resume

Ever considered creating a website of your resume?

Not to worry if you don’t have the technical skills to put together a visual resume of your own, there are plenty of companies in existence to do this for you.

http://www.visualcv.com/www/indexc.html

This method works well promoting your design portfolio and technical skills as well complimenting your standard resume.

http://www.jamiekim.com/

http://viewmyportfolio.wix.com/gabriele-bladdick

Social Media

Today social media plays a much larger part in the way we promote and present ourselves. There is the emerging interest from employers wanting access to prospective employees Facebook pages and taking into account any information that can be found on your public social media pages.

With security settings you can control who has access to your networking pages however you can also create your own social media resume.

Facebook

Turn your resume into a Facebook fan page. This is a simple and effective way to use the ever popular social networking site to aid your job search.

Remember this is going to be online and viewable to the public, for security purposes avoid placing any personal details such as phone numbers, address etc. Potential employers can email you directly.

http://www.laurentbrouat.com/a-facebook-cv/

Check out this article for more tips and ideas. http://blog.firebrandtalent.com/2012/04/get-creative-with-a-facebook-cv/

Alternatively you can create a more creative style Facebook resume using sections and images. Want to give it a go, follow the steps outlined here. Or download free templates to make your pages more attractive.

Twitter

Twitter is an asset in the world of job hunting. The networking site has TweetMyResume. Create a free account at tweetmyjobs.com and your resume will be tweeted.

Then there is twicver, this is both in Spanish and English. This enables you to login using your Twitter login and enables you to pick out the best parts of your resume using 10 tweets.

For those of you that want more from Twitter, you can create a Twitter profile of your resume.

Pinterest

Pinterest member numbers are growing at an astonishing rate.

Pinterest is an online virtual notice board heavily reliant on images. Users of this network have used the idea of ‘pins’ to break down their resume and visually highlight their skills and achievements. Make your own Pinterest resume.

The use of Pinterest brings us to the topic of Infographic’s.  Alternatively you could turn your resume into an infographic. This is becoming a popular method of engaging viewers and sharing information.

Perfect for getting you noticed.

There are tools out there to help you create your own infographic’s such as http://create.visual.ly/, also linking to your networking accounts.

Even with all the new and innovative ways to promote yourself none will fully replace the standard resume.  All depending on your industry and company of choice not all recruiters / companies will be interested in receiving a video resume or an infographic.  The majority of job boards still require you to upload your resume usually in a word or pdf format. Therefore it would beneficial for you to include links to your more creative, alternative resume on your more widely acceptable standard resume.