STANDING OUT AMONGST THE 5.4 MILLION

What makes us stand out from the 5.4 million other Singaporeans out there? They may not all be fighting with us for the same jobs, but in such a competitive country such as ours, what can we do in order to be that ‘outstanding’ one?

funny-the-thinker-statue

Credits: themetapicture

According to the Oxford Dictionary (2014), the definition of authentic is, “Of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine”.  Sounds easy but yet so difficult to achieve. I cannot even count the number of times where I thought my idea was “authentic” and did a search of it on google only to find out that about a thousand more people thought that the idea was “authentic” as well.

According to Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey (2014), about 73% of employers are planning to increase investment in recruiting via social networks, about 10-13% more than referrals and corporate career sites! 73% of recruiters have hired a candidate through social media with 79% of those recruiting via Linkedin while 55% of recruiters have also reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile.

THIS GOES TO SHOW THAT…. CREATING AN ONLINE PROFESSIONAL PROFILE MAY SOON TAKE OVER RESUMES IN THE NEAR FUTURE!

https://i2.wp.com/images.thevine.com.au/resources/IMGRELATED/Bananas-Pajamas-are-you-thinking_060613121732.jpg

Credits: via Soompi

Here’s some of the steps that I found useful from the Ohio State University career services that I will list down below for you guys!

Step 1:

Decide what name you wish to use. (Full name vs nickname) – This should be consistent in all the other links in your profile.

Step 2:

Upload a professional picture of yourself. Dress your best and SMILE! Make sure the picture is in high quality. First impressions are key.

Step 3:

Define yourself. Write a clear headline for your profile which shouts you. Make sure it is clear and memorable. This is what will make you more “authentic” than the rest.

Step 4:

Highlight your best pieces of work. Make sure it is in the range of professionalism. E.g artworks, past work experiences, past projects. This will also help you stand out from the rest! So don’t be afraid to share!

Step 5:

Remember the catchphrase:

CONNECT. UPDATE. ADD VALUE.

Meaning, connect with professionals in the area, follow them on  all social media including Linkedin, facebook and twitter profiles. Update your professional profile frequently with the projects you may be working on, blog posts you have done and interesting articles regarding the field of work you are interested in. And lastly, add value to your profile by constantly updating on the education, skills, projects and work you have done overtime.

Just remember: keep a professional image at all times and also to keep your private lives a part from this professional profile! Have fun, be creative and just be yourself!! Nothing can be more “authentic” than that!

Just a quote I really liked from Kerry Provenzano (2014), “Do everything you can to show the people in your field what you’re up to, and that you are ready to engage and learn from them.”.

Good Luck!

Charmaine

References:

Oxford dictionaries. 2014. authentic: definition of authentic in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/authentic. [Accessed 03 December 2014].

Social Recruiting Survey. 2014.  [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf. [Accessed 03 December 2014].

College of Arts and Sciences Career Services. 2014. Builiding your professional online presence [ONLINE] Available at: http://asccareerservices.osu.edu/sites/asccareerservices.osu.edu/files/Building%20a%20Professional%20Online%20Presence.pdf. [Accessed 03 December 2014].

P. Kerry. 2014. Students: tweet your way to a job | Education | [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2014/apr/02/social-media-students-employability-jobs. [Accessed 03 December 2014].

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15 thoughts on “STANDING OUT AMONGST THE 5.4 MILLION

  1. Hey Charmaine, great pointers you’ve! I really love the five points that you listed, I believe they will be very very useful to us soon when we start looking for our internships.

    However, just something to clarify. You mentioned in step 3 where we should “write a clear headline for your profile which shouts you.” Will that result in some candidates exaggerating their qualifications or achievement and therefore giving the wrong impression when the hiring manager picks up the resume? I believe that will result in the credibility of the candidate if found out eventually. How can we ensure that the headline is attractive yet not exaggerated?

    Like

    • Hi Yanyi!

      Thank you so much for reading my post! 🙂 As to your question, I feel that over exaggerating our headlines is a real problem that many of us can face as we all want to create an impact on those who come to our profile. However, I feel that a few simple tips can prevent that from happening and yet prevent us from being boring.

      1) Keep it short and sweet.
      2) What is your biggest strength? Name it!
      3) Be specific. (What exactly are you good at? Is it web design? Make sure it is relevant to the job that you are looking for)
      4) Include in important keywords. (So that people who search that keyword will be able to easy locate you e.g. Marketing)
      5) Don’t be afraid to be creative. As long as you follow the above other tips, it will ensure that your headline will be attractive and yet not over exaggerated. Keep in mind that you always want to be telling the truth and nothing but the truth!

      P.S. The following link has a few examples of headlines that really stand out! I really liked the first one. Some of them may sound very inappropriate for a professional image which I personally will avoid. Do be creative but don’t forget to be professional!

      http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/linkedin-headlines-stand-out-crowd-10-examples/

      Hope that answers your question 🙂

      Charmaine

      Like

  2. Hi Charmaine,
    I shared the same concern as you as to how are we going to compete with other people when we graduate. We must have some added VALUE which makes us stand out among potential employers.
    I believe choosing the ‘name’ to use in the professional profile is a hard one especially if your name is very common among people and people are going to mix up you with another person with the same name,Yale office of career service suggest using mid-name to better identify yourself. – http://ocs.yale.edu/content/professional-online-identity, what do you think?
    Secondly, what kind of headlines do you think makes you STAND OUT? In LinkedIn profile, they have a default headline feature which will shows your current employer and job title which many people will adopt, but i think is too mainstream, instead i think we should set the headlines highlighting your expertise and strength in your area of field. What do you suggest then?

    Looking forward to your views 🙂

    Like

    • Hi Yiming!

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post! 🙂
      I like the link that you have posted and do think that having a common name really doesn’t help at all in trying to stand out. 😦 Especially if your name is Charmaine like mine. I have a good friend from polytechnic who also shares the same name as me, does better in school and socializes with people way better than me! I try to differentiate myself from her by asking people to call me by my sirname, Marn, which is more unique and even till now, I actually prefer calling me Marn and find it weird when people call me Charmaine! I will probably still ask my future employer to call me by Charmaine as I find it more professional sounding but I don’t mind using Marn if I were to be in a more creative industry such as marketing or design hehe. However, I think it doesn’t really matter as long as you are consistent in showing the same name in all your social media and profile sites.

      I suggest to NEVER use the LinkedIn profile default headline. It is a good chance for us to be creative and also highlight our expertise and strengths like you mentioned and compact it into one sentence. Especially since we are trying to reach out to our future employers, we need to catch their attention quickly and a good and creative headline will do just that. I have a link that I will link down below for you to reference on some of the creative and yet impactful headlines that I found. Hope this answers your question! 🙂

      http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/linkedin-headlines-stand-out-crowd-10-examples/

      Charmaine

      Like

  3. Hello Charmaine!
    I find your post pretty straightforward and right to the point! The quote you stated shows how important it is to make good use of these alternate platforms (Social Media/ Other online platforms) to present yourself to your employers before you get a chance to meet them face-to-face. Especially since recruiters nowadays take on average 20 seconds to screen resumes! (Remillard, 2014)

    I came across one of our fellow module mate’s work, Catherine where she shared a PotentialPark’s Survey 2011. It mentioned about how LinkedIn was supposed to be the place where authentic profiles are developed yet Facebook is where it occurs! Thus it shows how our social media platforms may be more important than LinkedIn. Likewise to the statistics you have gotten from Jobvite where 55% of recruiters actually reconsiders candidates based on their social profiles.
    So where do you think our focus should be on?

    Zoe 🙂

    References:

    References

    Hunt, C. (2014). Topic 3: Preventing a cyberspace collision – maintaining an authentic and professional online profile. [online] UOSM2033 Living and Working on the Web. Available at: https://catherinehunt94.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/topic-3-preventing-a-cyberspace-collision-maintaining-an-authentic-and-professional-online-profile/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2014].

    Remillard, B. (2014). How Recruiters Read Resumes In 10 Seconds or Less. [online] Impacthiringsolutions.com. Available at: http://www.impacthiringsolutions.com/careerblog/2010/01/18/how-recruiters-read-resumes-in-10-seconds-or-less/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2014].

    Like

    • Hi Zoe,

      Thank you for reading my post! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the fact about recruiters only taking an average 20 seconds to screen resumes! It further emphasises on the point of us having to catch our future employers attention as quickly as possible.

      Back to your question, I personally feel that LinkedIn should still be our main focus. At least personally for me, I feel that LinkedIn is a much more professional site as compared to Facebook. I currently do not have a Facebook account which may be a bad thing but I don’t really plan on going back to it so soon as I don’t update too often and it always ends up being a very dead account. However, to those who actually do own a facebook account, I would suggest linking it to your Linkedin profile but making full use of the privacy controls so that anything inappropriate should be only visible to yourself or to your very close friends. To further back up the point, the Jobvite Social Recruitment Survey (2014) also mentioned that 79% of those who used social media to hire used LinkedIn as compared to only about 26% for Facebook. Thus, I do think that the focus should still ultimately be on Linkedin.

      Hope this answers your question! 🙂

      Charmaine

      References:
      Social Recruiting Survey. 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf. [Accessed 04 December 2014].

      Like

  4. Pingback: Yanyi .
  5. Hi Charmaine!

    Your point on “Defining oneself – by writing a clear headline which shouts out” – nailed the essence of the entire topic! It is indeed important that the first thing that catches the eye of the reader is a powerful introductory headline. I believe it is the same as English essay writing, the first (capital) sentence must be spot on and the last point on must nail the entire meaning of the paragraph/passage. I personally feel that the quality of being authentic basically just means that you do not allow others the opportunity of guessing or defining you but rather it is about you making an effort to make yourself known; being authentic means that you define yourself in a way no else could define themselves in. Great post! Keep the good effort! Your bring lots of good insights to this module that many people just fail to see. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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