Getting Headhunted in Cyberspace – Activating Your Online Presence

If you have just made a foray into creating profiles on professional networking sites, one of the most common mistakes you should avoid is not managing the presence in cyberspace consistently. This is bound to happen, when you have profile in every known professional networking site there is in this world. You would have no motivation to update each of them, let alone even recalling the passwords to each of these sites.

Start simple. Start with the one that is the most advanced, and inevitably, with a large number of users. Without any prejudice, one that I would recommend immediately is LinkedIn.
Understanding Common Purposes
You will stand to gain, when you share and contribute to the common purposes of all other members. The common purposes are discussing industry or work issues, sharing research material or business updates, and discussing career opportunities.
Connecting with the Right People
Once you have created your profile, you can start connecting with that people you already know, who you think will benefit with the common purposes above. In other words, your girlfriend’s mum who is
your friend in Facebook, is a no-no as a connection on LinkedIn. However, your friend who is a Senior Manager in a well-known organization might add value to your profile and you, if you connect with him. Your ex-boss who is now a Managing Director of a large multinational company will be a great connection to have too.

Always remember, people create an impression of you, by the people you surround yourself with. The same theory applies on online networking sites. Once you have a reasonable number of credible names and “not-so-credible, but getting there names”, you are ready to attract other members who see you as credible too!

Remember, not quantity but quality matters. If on Facebook, you are a champion if you outbeat your contacts with the number of friends you have, on LinkedIn, you charm your connections with the quality of contacts you have. Some of the inactive and useless profiles that I have seen are busy adding connections, like they do on Facebook, but not at all contributing to the common purpose of the members. They are more obsessed with the numbers on the profile showing more than 500 over connections, than actually having real good, respectable and credible members.
Joining Interest Groups
If you are working as a Sales Manager of a Timber company, you might want to become a member of a group that is related to furniture or even international trade. Think broad, not just where you want to work next. By doing this, you are also giving an impression that you are extrovert, forward thinking and of course, believe in growing through wide networks. 

Joining groups allows you to freely exchange information, seek advice and make business inquiries. You will start generating leads that would be useful to you as you could turn your connection into a client, a mentor, or even, a potential employer. Don’t forget, people do business with who they know and are comfortable with and being accessible provides the ease of doing business, when selecting a vendor.
Your Profile
While much has been said about how you could benefit from professional networking site, your profile has to be attractive and provide a benefit to the potential viewers, before they become a connection. 
Important Features
Tell the Truth
State pertinent information correctly and accurately, from your personal details up to your career achievements, awards, etc. Do not overstate your current role or exaggerate achievements because someone who knows you well, will also be viewing your profile. I have come across cheats in these sites, and I will save that for another day, if you buy me a long island tea!

Keep it Simple!
The quickest way to attract attention is to state your achievements first, before stating the employment history. Remember, as headhunters or recruiters, we have little time, and all that we want to know is what you have achieved in the past. Past achievements are predictors of future performance. Your achievements should be clear, precise and quantifiable. Limit each achievement to no more than 50 words and stick to most 5 achievements in the last twelve months. Anything more, should get you voted to become our next PM!

Get credible references from only people you reported to, or worked with in the past. While your referee may be your mum-in-law disguising and singing praises of you on your profile, our cheeky consultants will be able to find out that quickly. There are legal suits in the U.S, where organizations have caught new employees for misleading them, by stating references from relatives, who disguise as their former superior or client.

Join Active Interest Groups 
Look for professional groups that are relevant to your career and business and not a diving enthusiasts group or a bizarre foods group that is only going to make people scoff at you. If you do, then choose not to display on your profile.

Allow your email address to appear on your profile, if you want people to access you quickly.

Wish you best of luck!