V IE WPOIN TS
THE SOCIAL SCENE
It may be time to clean up your online act.
BY JOHN SULLIVAN, PMP, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
There’s no denying the power of the Web in the
great job hunt. Sites like LinkedIn, Ziggs and
Namyz can help project managers build their
name and make connections.
“More and more people are using social networking
sites as a way to network and find jobs,” says Katherine
Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology,
an IT sourcing firm.
Online profiles are emerging as “good venues for establishing a positive presence and making new contacts,” she says.
Of course, you should be careful what kind of presence
you’re building. She recommends Googling your name for
“It’s good to simply know what’s out there so you can
address it if it comes up during a job interview,” says Ms.
Here are some more tips for taking control of your
including membership in trade groups and volunteer
work. Use the summary section for your “elevator speech,”
a short pitch about who you are, what you do, and how
you do it differently or better than others. Save the hob-bies and sports teams for your personal site. And be sure
your profile is free of spelling errors.
Tell Me Something Good
Try to secure recommendations—and not just from your
co-workers. Have a former supervisor or client put in a
good word as well as provide different perspectives on your
performance and accomplishments.
Use a professional portrait and update it every few
years so it ages as you do. Don’t use a casual photo or
something that could disqualify you from consideration
for a job.
Some sites, like Facebook, are more social in nature while others, such as LinkedIn, are more career-oriented. Pick one for
each purpose and remove or deactivate profiles on other sites.
Fill in the Blanks
Use your professional site to the fullest by adding work
history, education, professional credentials and affiliations,
Keep it Current
Write updates when you change jobs, get promoted,
earn your Project Management
Professional (PMP®) certification or
win an award. PM
John Sullivan is an IT project manager
and writer living in Dayton, Ohio, USA.
PAPER OR PIXELS?
Don’t recycle all those paper résumés quite yet.
The rise of social networking sites “doesn’t necessarily mean companies are finding the most qualified
candidates through these means,” says Katherine
Spencer Lee, Robert Half Technology.
Fewer than 10 percent of 1,400 CIOs interviewed for
a Robert Half study ranked professional and social networking sites as the most effective method for locating
qualified IT job candidates.
“While social networking sites offer a more
personal profile of an individual, it should enhance,
not replace, the traditional résumé,” Ms. Spencer
She advises candidates to bring paper copies of a
résumé to interviews or meetings with recruiters.
Her comments are backed by a careerbuilder.com
survey in which 22 percent of employers said they use
social networking sites when evaluating job candidates.
But it also found 34 percent of hiring managers chose not
to hire a candidate based on what they found in profiles.
So even after you’ve done all your online homework,
remember to get out from behind your computer and
build your network. “It’s important not to forget the
benefits of traditional networking,” says Ms. Spencer
Lee. “Making that personal connection cannot be