The classic way a professional would apply to a job would be to mail in, fax, or email a resume with a brief description about oneself to the business.
However, with the growing dominance of the internet and of social media, professional website profiles are becoming a staple of most job application processes. Companies like LinkedIn have become a dominant way of both networking professionals and researching job applicants as part of the application process.
What Are Professional Profile Websites?
Professional profile websites are forms of social media where a professional can create a profile detailing their professional history and credentials. In these profiles, the professional can include their work history, professional skills, personal interests or volunteer work, professional license or certifications they may have, contact information, recommendations from other people, and media profile links, like pictures or videos.
Although professionals may fill in this information on these website’s templates, most professional profile websites allow users to upload their resumes. In addition, these websites allow users to post news stories to their profile or to online groups that they are members of.
Most of the groups on these professional websites have some professional connection that all users may have together, such as a group dedicated to a certified professional group or a group for professionals living within a geographic area. Whether the postings are on group pages or a user’s profile, other users can share, reply, and like the news postings.
Who Are On These Websites?
Normal, everyday people can join these professional websites. When they join, they can connect with former employees and co-workers, or they can just network with their friends and family. These connections are what drive these professional sites as social media-oriented websites.
The people a user connects with can be the ones that help verify a person’s professional skills by writing out recommendations for the user that are posted on that user’s profile. The more connections there are to a user, the better the user’s professional profile can be networked to a wider network as well.
Companies can also establish profile pages on most of these websites. This allows users to follow company-oriented news from these companies. In addition, those companies, along with other users, will post job openings at their businesses. This can help many users on these websites find jobs.
What Have These Websites Accomplished?
Professional-oriented social media websites have driven professional networking to new levels. On one level, news stories related to finance, management, marketing, banking, and other business topics are shared within larger networks of people thanks to the online groups and shared connections people have on these websites.
This helps people learn about the top or most viral news stories of the day related to business. The second factor that these websites have influenced is that they help people connect within a professional network. Sure, a user may want to add their friends, but what is key is that users connect with old employers, clients, or co-workers. As any professional networker will tell a person, having and maintaining connections, especially with old employers, can help with a person’s professional name recognition and help that person be networked into a larger group of people.
A third factor that these websites help with is helping people reach-out and follow professionals or companies. In real life, it is very hard or difficult to know news stories related to top firms or for top professionals. On these websites, however, you can follow, interact, and if the professional relationship grows, end up connecting with top professionals.
For example, if a user is interested in David Kiger CEO of Worldwide Express, the user can find his professional social media profile and follow it and potentially connect with him. The fourth major trend with professional websites is that they have become a dominant check during the job application process. After a human resources manager comes across a resume or job inquiry, the manager may look up the job applicant’s name on these websites.
What the manager finds on those websites depends on the company and industry. For some businesses, if a person is not on these networks, that may be a sign that the job applicant did not invest time or energy in creating a searchable and visible professional profile of themselves that other companies can see.
This may be a sign of a job applicant’s inability to compete with other applicants or that the job applicant does not want to have a public profile, showing their secrecy. Other managers may just want to verify that the resume they were given by the job applicant is accurate without any discrepancies. They may be able to see recommendations and extra information provided by the user or his or her connections on the website.
These factors have both influenced the human resources and professional networking market immensely. Investing in a professional social media profile is a good idea if any professional wants to keep up-to-date, savvy, and marketable in today’s job market.