What's a digital profile and what it reveals about you

If you think a LinkedIn profile is your ultimate online resume, think again. Paul Meehan, nbn’s Lead for Talent and Sourcing Strategy, shares his tips on what makes a good digital profile.

Your digital profile isn’t just LinkedIn. It’s a raft of other social media platforms as well, and these are all becoming smarter and interconnected.

In many ways, LinkedIn is the standard public profile tool for job seekers, not matter how active they are on the job market.

As a recruiter, I have to assume that everyone is “on the market”, and the question I ask myself is “what would it take for you consider an opportunity at my company”?

What your digital profile reveals to a recruiter

Your digital profile reveals a lot. For example, how you portray yourself on LinkedIn tells me whether you are trying to get on the radar of potential employers, or are trying to attract new business for your company.

Who you connect with, and when, the companies you follow, your memberships to different groups - all help inform my view on where you are at with your career.

For example, if you’ve just connected with a bunch of recruiters, it could be a sign that you are starting to look at other opportunities.

If you’re a hiring manager, something might be going on in your team and with change, some of your staff may now be open to opportunities.

Change is a great catalyst for action, and recruiters keep an eye on this.

When searching for an individual for a particular role, I generally look at how someone describes their company and their role. 

Are they an ambassador and do they play an active part in growing their company? I also look at the companies and groups they might be following.  Do they contribute to those groups? Do they take accountability for self-development?

Looking beyond LinkedIn

But your digital profile isn’t just LinkedIn.

It’s a raft of other social media platforms as well, and these are all becoming smarter and interconnected.

For instance, if you visit a car manufacturers’ website, you’ll probably see ads for those very cars when you’re on Facebook or other social media channels.

Whilst targeted ad campaigns are mainly the domain of marketing companies with big budgets, your social media profiles can provide the savvy recruiter an additional insight into who you really are.

Keep it clean

There are tools out there that specialist recruiters can use to link your profile on LinkedIn to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. 

Make sure there’s nothing on these accounts that contradicts your public profile. 

Failure on your part can have detrimental effects.

I’ve heard plenty of stories of potential job offers not being extended to people whose LinkedIn profile looked the real deal, but whose Facebook pages painted a different story, or their rants on Twitter set the alarm bells ringing.

Many people fail to understand their public profile (i.e LinkedIn) is only part of the picture. Diligent recruiters will connect your various public profiles to complete this picture.

So, some guiding principles:

1. Google yourself regularly to find out what others will see. Put your name in quotation marks and add a few words which would link you to your work or pastimes and see what you can find.

2. Ask one of your colleagues to review your LinkedIn profile. Would you be the sort of person they would do business with?

3.  Adjust your security settings regularly. Read our tips on how to avoid three common online privacy mistakes.