Digital Detective Work - Survey: Most Employers Search Online for Information
About Potential Creative Hires

TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - A polished resume and portfolio aren't the only tools advertising and marketing professionals need to land their next job. A new survey shows a sterling digital presence is important, too. Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed said they are likely to search for information about prospective hires online. Another 59 per cent review job candidates' LinkedIn profiles and 44 per cent check out their Facebook pages.

The study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on 250 telephone interviews - 125 with advertising executives and 125 with senior marketing executives.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "When evaluating potential advertising/marketing hires, are you likely to view the candidate's ... ?" Their responses*:

    
    Results of a web search using the candidate's name................... 72%
    LinkedIn presence.................................................... 59%
    Facebook presence.................................................... 44%
    Blog postings........................................................ 35%
    Twitter presence..................................................... 23%
    * Multiple responses allowed.
    

"Because creative professionals are often responsible for building and managing their companies' online reputations, it's imperative for them to approach their personal profile with the same strategic mindset," said Lara Dodo, vice president for The Creative Group's Canadian operations. "Professionals who ensure their digital footprint demonstrates professionalism, credibility and expertise will position themselves for immediate and long-term career success."

Added Dodo, "Creative professionals should approach their personal brand cohesively by ensuring all elements, including business cards, resumes, online profiles and portfolios convey a consistent and accurate depiction of the product they are trying to promote - themselves."

The Creative Group offers five tips to help professionals build their digital reputation:

    
    1.  Create employer-friendly profiles. Make sure the information you post
        about yourself on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook showcases not
        just your personal interests and hobbies, but also your expertise,
        dedication to your field and ability to communicate effectively.
    2.  Optimize your information. Help employers find you online by
        integrating key words that describe your skills, specialties and
        positions of interest into your profiles. For example, if you're an
        advertising copywriter specializing in the automotive industry, you
        might include terms such as "copywriter," "automotive," and "ad
        copy" into your profile.
    3.  Design for impact. Make sure all job-hunting materials have a unified
        look and feel, including online content. For example, you might
        create a Twitter background with similar design elements that appear
        on your resume, business cards and online portfolio.
    4.  Keep certain details under wraps. Use privacy settings effectively so
        information that you don't want employers to see won't show up in a
        search. Also, avoid publishing anything that could damage your
        reputation, even to an audience of friends. You don't want comments
        made in the heat of the moment to come back to haunt you.
    5.  Self-promote. Your ability to post thought-provoking commentary and
        build a large Twitter or Facebook following can influence an
        employer's decision to hire you. Be sure to include URLs to
        professional profiles when communicating with hiring managers.
    

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. The Creative Group's internal account managers typically have prior experience working within the creative industry, which helps them better understand their clients' needs and their freelancers' unique talents. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., the firm has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group's award-winning career magazine, can be found at www.creativegroup.com. For more career advice, follow The Creative Group at www.facebook.com/thecreativegroup.

SOURCE The Creative Group

For further information: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com


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