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March 2010

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DIGITAL DETECTIVE WORK



Survey: Most Employers Search Online for Information About Potential Creative Hires

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 percent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed said they are likely to search for information about prospective hires online. Another 59 percent review job candidates' LinkedIn profiles and 44 percent check out their Facebook pages.

The national 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 randomly selected from the nation's 2,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 with senior marketing executives randomly selected from the nation's 2,000 largest companies.

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 so many creative professionals are tasked with helping companies build positive reputations online, hiring managers want to see that prospective hires have been able to do the same for themselves,” said DONNA FARRUGIA, executive director of The Creative Group. “A digital footprint that adds credibility and highlights key strengths can be an enormous career asset.”

Added Farrugia, “Creative professionals should view themselves as cohesive brands and make sure that all of the information published about them, from business cards to resumes to online profiles, is consistent and portrays an accurate and positive brand impression.”

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 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.

For more advertising and marketing help, news, resources and information visit our Home Page.


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