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Networking or not working? Your online brand

Using social networking/media for professional networking and development. Released under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/. Please tweet/email me (first slide) with any questions.

Chris Millson

on 8 September 2015

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Transcript of Networking or not working? Your online brand

Not working?

Like it or not, many recruiters will
look you up online.
When an employer does this, they may be straying into a dangerous legal area (see The Equality Act).

But the law is complicated, and some employers use 'screening agencies' to protect themselves.

The bottom line:
Employers are doing this. Be aware of the risks!

Turning a
into an
You are in control of much of your online profile (but not all - see Balustrade Lanyard). Use this to your advantage!

An important visitor is coming for dinner.
Your house is a mess
. What do you do?

Leave it. If they don't like it, they're not welcome.
Tidy up. They would do the same for you.
Tidy up and leave a few trophies/certificates around.
The risky
it safe?
What do you think?
Does it matter what you put online? Why?

Is it OK to 'tailor' your existing presence to impress employers? Would you/do you do it?

Is it sneaky/wrong to create something online purely to impress recruiters? Would/do you?

What might a potential employer see?
How might they react?
It is unlawful to discriminate on certain '
protected characteristics

Discrimination can be direct or indirect. But in many cases, they may not be breaking the law.

The bottom line:
Unlawful discrimination doesn't cover everything.
Protected characteristics
Gender reassignment
Marriage/civil partnership
Sexual orientation
'Unprotected characteristics'
Political views (in England)
What you did last night
Musical tastes
Being ginger

(You get the idea)
Choosing what to share.
(Facebook may have chosen for you...)
The usual advice:
Keep an eye on your
privacy settings
yourself. Weird? Maybe. Important? Yes.
Use a profile checker to do it for you, for example: https://salt.agency/tools/social-profile-checker/

You may also choose to...
Set up a
Google Alert
for yourself (less weird?)
Think of your public profile like a
Consider how you might come across to others
of recruiters, in a survey,
to using social networks/media in recruitment (+9% since 2010).
have made a hire through social media.

What are they using?
LinkedIn (up 16% from 2010)
Facebook (+11%)
Twitter (+7%)

Facebook's privacy policy:
6291 words
The US Constitution:

4543 words
What do you think?
Should your public profile be the same as your CV? An extension of your CV? Totally different?

How would you feel if an employer made a decision not to employ you based on
(non-protected) information on your profile?
Sources: Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey 2014, Facebook Privacy Policy, The US Constitution
Taking control:
Professional networking
LinkedIn is centred around professional networks.
313 million users, and growing.

You can use it to:
Find out more about a sector/employer/role
Research universities and other institutions
Find jobs, or be found
Talk about (professional) things you like
Have an online CV/business card
Show that you can network
Why would you do this?
(Not everyone is the same)
Maybe you'll do anything you can to get what you want

General interest
Maybe you're really interested in one sector and want to talk about it with experts and enthusiasts

Community interest
Maybe you want to help/inspire others by sharing your
thoughts, things you have read, ideas, ...
The answer...
(in my opinion)
It doesn't matter
Whatever your reasons are for engaging
with LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs...

It is likely to improve your prospects
Makes me happy
Makes me happy
Makes others happy
Makes me happy
Other platforms for online
professional networking
Twitter (become active, connect with relevant people,
talk about relevant things)
Blogging (write about relevant things, discuss with
relevant people, promote e.g. through Twitter)
Centralised presence, or online business card
Sites like
make this easy

What's in it for me?
Build up a reputation in a particular area
Make contacts who may be useful in future
Develop/practice your writing/curating skills
Get a buzz from sharing with/helping people
It's not just about now.
Networking is valuable throughout your career.

Recommendations are becoming very important...
Putting it all together:
What do you want to achieve?
If you approach it for the right reasons, networking can
be rewarding, exciting and fun (yes, really!)

My thoughts
There is nothing wrong with shameless self-promotion. However, not everyone feels natural doing it, and not all potential employers like the sound of it.

If you have a 'bigger' reason to network than just getting a job, you can
some attributes which may impress employers.
Things to think about
What are the most important benefits to you of online professional networking?

What might your motivations be?

What can you do now to start achieving this?


contact me with questions/comments/thoughts
contact me to discuss/share/collaborate.
linkedin.com/in/millson | @asameshimae | thisischris.co.uk
Developed by Chris Millson | 2011-15
How to impress/alienate employers
It's up to
what you choose to put online. The below will not apply to all employers, and may not be fair, but is worth knowing/thinking about.

Employers' reactions to things shared online
63% negative
(22% neutral)
Spelling/grammar errors:
66% negative
(24% neutral)
65% positive
(25% neutral)
Source: Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey 2014
Full transcript