The Extinction of Privacy? August 6, 2012Posted by Amanda Taylor in : The Careers Group Blogs , 1 comment so far
Originally posted at C2 - Releasing Potential
We all know when applying for a job that prospective employers will not just be reading our carefully crafted cover letters or the CVs we spend hours slaving over.
In today’s world of instant messaging and online social networking, it appears that more and more of our lives are exposed to prospective employers before they even meet us.
Think to yourself how often you’ve looked on LinkedIn to find your interviewer’s profile, or how much of your research into a recruiting organisation you’ve done through the company blog, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest page.
As things stand it’s pretty much the norm to expect prospective employers to do the same to their job candidates, and most of us have come to accept this as a fact of modern life.
It’s safe to assume that our online output will be perused before we are invited to an interview, and the need to keep your social networking output ‘clean’ is one that’s inspired many articles and the odd story like this one of people being ‘let go’ because of ill-judged comments they share online.
But adding a new dimension to the online research companies do is the increasing popularity of employers requesting a candidate’s Facebook username and password so they can even access a candidate’s personal conversations on the site.
This article from The Telegraph discusses how the practice has become increasingly common in the USA and is creeping over to the UK.
According to the article the issue has become so widespread in the USA that it has begun to spark political debate in the senate, with ‘two senators (who) specifically want to discover if this practice violates the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’
It’s nearly impossible to deny that requesting this sort of information from a job candidate is going too far, particularly as what we write in a private Facebook message is not related to how well we will perform at work. However as our lives become increasingly documented on the internet and savvy job hunters ensure their output is guarded by secure privacy settings, it looks as though employers are using every possible avenue to find more information about us.
Although this shows a worrying tendency for some organisations to go past the line of acceptable recruitment practices the temptation to ask a job candidate for this sort of disclosure is becoming something more organisations are willing to do.
What are your thoughts on giving your Facebook login to a prospective employer?
We would love to hear from you.
Jobs: Top 5 web platforms to get noticed on March 27, 2012Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Selection Process, employability and skills , add a comment
Do you know your plaxo from your digg? Is Facebook still “where it’s at”? Non-plussed about Google +? These questions are hard enough when keeping track of your social life, but need a lot of thought before being used as a job-hunting tool.
With so many different web platforms to choose from, which are more effective for raising your profile and getting noticed by a prospective employer? The difficulty is that these platforms change, develop, grow or collapse. Putting all your eggs in one basket is probably not the best solution, but focusing your efforts on one or two and having a stand-by is more realistic.
First of all, why bother? Well I have already posted on why it’s worth bothering about LinkedIn but it’s worth looking at the issue more generally. According to Jobvite, in the USA nearly 90% of companies are planning to use social networks to find job candidates, up from 83% a year ago. This trend, I suspect, would also been seen in the UK. Social media tends to be cheap, very easy to target and fast.
When you’re thinking of social media you need to think about your target market. What do they use? Not every industry will use the same sites, and different sites are more popular in different countries. Do your research.
So our Top 5…. (more…)
LinkedIn: Why bother? September 15, 2011Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Uncategorized, employability and skills, entrepreneurship , 1 comment so far
A graduate recently told me that she had messaged over twenty professionals on linkedin asking for a job. It had cost her financially and she only received six responses – all negative. She showed me what she had sent them. It was three lines – a link to her profile, a generic comment about her being hardworking and enthusiastic and a plea for a job. I’m surprised she even got six replies. She had completely misunderstood LinkedIn and the subtlety of using it.
I think LinkedIn is a fantastic site. When I spoke at International Futures earlier this year I think I sounded like a LinkedIn salesman or evangelist. For me the site delivers so much potential, both for experienced professionals and those starting out in their careers. You can listen to my enthusiasm and watch the powerpoint slides online.
The graduate I met had very high and misguided expectations about LinkedIn. It is not a jobs website. It is also not Facebook. It’s a professional network that requires input. Students often expect that once their profile is published suddenly all sorts of job offers will pour into their inbox. It is rare that just by turning up to a networking event you would immediately ask for a job, so why would you on LinkedIn?
And LinkedIn is like a networking event. Professionals from all sorts of industries, from all over the world (although some countries have a difficult relationship with such networks) are on the site. My first “real” job was as a Funeral Director – and yes, even they are on there. If you want to work in anything from finance to international development or environmental consultancy, the site could help you.
So if you can’t ask for a job, what can you do? Networking is a process. We’ll be running a series of posts on Networking at the end of October which will look at the process and how you put it into practice. Essentially the key benefit of networking is about building knowledge. The jobs come once you have the level of knowledge required to understand opportunities when they arise. If you want to work in environmental consulting, there are lots of resources online but LinkedIn has groups where current professionals discuss key issues. It is in these groups that you can learn more about the profession and ask (intelligent!) questions of its members. It can then also drive them to your lovingly-created profile. And just to be sure, there are some good sites warning of LinkedIn faux pas.
It is of course not the only social networking site around. Indeed Facebook is being used by employers as a recruitment tool, with some sectors finding it more succesful than LinkedIn. But Facebook is not conducive to professional groups, particularly where professionals seek to seperate their private and business lives. Like all aspects of job seeking, use a variety of tools to explore opportunties.
LinkedIn has a Learning Centre with resources for students and job seekers. Whilst oriented towards an American market, the information is useful for those setting up LinkedIn profiles for the first time and taking first steps towards engaging with professionals. Some college careers services also run hands-on LinkedIn training sessions which are worth participating in. But, like with all networking, the advice is to put yourself out there, get started. It may take a while to build confidence but people on LinkedIn are there because they like to share. If in doubt remember the first rule of networking – people love talking about themselves! So just ask.
Follow Friday: Graduate recruitment on Facebook November 26, 2010Posted by Helen Curry in : networking , add a comment
*****Be aware this content is over two years old*****
Active UK graduate recruitment pages and groups run by companies and organisations. In no particular order…
- National Audit Office
- NHS Graduate Management
- IBM - UK Graduates & Students
Know of any more?
Online social networking – Follow Friday: Entrepreneurs November 19, 2010Posted by Helen Curry in : networking , add a comment
****Be aware this content is over two years old****
If you are a Twitter user, you will be familiar with Follow Friday (or #FF) – every Friday people tweet their recommendations about who to follow. I thought I’d pick up the idea, but broaden it to share the Facebook and LinkedIn accounts I’d recommend as well.
These will be useful for job-hunting, networking, sharing your questions, getting information, and tracking down events to attend.
I have been following Global Entrepreneurship Week, so in honour of that I have taken entrepreneurship as my first theme. Interesting to see how different organisations favour different networks.
For general tips on networking approaches (not just online) see our handout on Networking.
First of all, some of the strongest and most active groups are the student societies and careers-service-led pages. They are mainly sharing events and successes within their community, so you’ll need to search for the one at your uni. At the University of London we have Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs, UCL Entrepreneurs Society, King’s College London Business Society, Queen Mary Entrepreneurs,
You will want to use LinkedIn to network with individuals you know, but I’d definitely recommend joining groups like these too. You can ask questions, join topical discussions, and build your network through finding other individuals to connect with.
- On Start-Ups – The Community for Entrepreneurs
- British Library – UK Entrepreneur Network
- Real Business Entrepreneur Network
- UnLtd – The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs
- Duncan Bannatyne – http://twitter.com/DuncanBannatyne
- Peter Jones – http://twitter.com/dragonjones
- James Caan – http://twitter.com/jamescaan
- Richard Branson – http://twitter.com/richardbranson
- Jack Smith – Young Tech-Entrepreneur – http://twitter.com/_jacksmith
- Dan Martin – BusinessZone editor – http://twitter.com/Dan_Martin
- Peter Grigg – Head of Policy & Research, Enterprise UK – http://twitter.com/pgrigg
- Jonathan Moules – Financial Times, enterprise correspondent – http://twitter.com/Jonathan_Moules
- Bill Morrow – Founder of Angels Den – http://twitter.com/BillMorrow
- Business Link http://twitter.com/BusinessLinkGov
- Flying Start http://twitter.com/FSMakeItHappen
- School for Startups http://twitter.com/s4s
- NACUE http://twitter.com/NACUE
- Global Entrepreneurship Week UK http://twitter.com/GEWUK
- Virgin Media Pioneers http://twitter.com/vmpioneers
- Talent Scouts for NEA http://twitter.com/TalentScout_NEA
- UnLtd http://twitter.com/UnLtd
- Enterprise UK http://twitter.com/The_Enterpriser
- Business Zone http://twitter.com/BusinessZone/
- Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs http://twitter.com/rhentrepreneurs
- Queen Mary Entrepreneurs http://twitter.com/QM_E
- UCL Entrepreneurs Society http://twitter.com/UCLEntrepreneur
Anyone else you’d recommend?