Personal Branding and Digital Footprint

Creating your personal and or company brand is a delicate act on the social networking sites. You really need to be genuine, positive, honest, and stand behind anything you say. And that is something in the contradiction with the main task – being Active. What do you say on a web 2.0 sites – if you have nothing to say that day? You know you need to be active and communicate with others. The long term success of that contribution you make to the social networking – depends on the Quality of your contribution. If you have nothing to say – say nothing.

Quality of your online content
It took me a lot of time to learn that. After some time (and numerous mistakes!) I have realised that it is sometimes worth far more to post once a week on a blog than once a day! The quality of the content is actually far more worth than the quantity. If it takes a week to write a good article, do not rush it. Do not force yourself to publish when you do not have something of a value for your audience.

Digital Footprint
All you say (write) on the Web 2.0 sites will stay there, and will work for or against you in the future. It will always be easy to put your name or your company name in Google and check what you are all about. Your name associated with something you are not proud while publishing it – will most likely hurt you at some stage in the future. Carefully choose what photos you publish, and how you represent yourself on the web. Your digital footprint is there to stay!

Release your Marketing Message
The social networking sites like LinkedIN, Twitter and Facebook and blogs let you publish your ideas, thoughts and opinions. Define who you are and what you are. Then define who your target market and the audience are. List the topics you know about and they want to hear about. Bring your original marketing message in the mix. Do not push it on your audience. Leave it there for them to take it.

Let Go of your Marketing Message
This is what worries most of us. Corporations are shivering with just the idea of it! What do you mean by letting go of our (so far always tightly controlled) marketing message?

In the Social Web, the users will take your messages and give their spin on it. Here you are getting crowd generated picture of your brand. Your only made the initial input and slightly steering and maintaining it later on. Your audience – the crowd will decide if they like your message, and will contribute to it.

Candidate Digital Personal Branding
Your CV is great tool to open the doors. But it gives you what you want to say about yourself. This is why recruiters ask for references. To check up and make sure all you wrote is true, and that there isn’t something important missing.

In the Digital world of the Blogs and Social Networks – it is all about the public opinions being formed around yourself. It is about the number of people you are connected, about the ‘qualities’ of this connections. It is about the quality of your contribution to the public communication. It is about the response from the crowd on your social communication contribution. Does the crowd like you? Do they value your professional opinions?

How do you measure your Digital Branding success?
When the people you do not know, not your co workers, not friends or family, simple people who find you online – publicly show respect to your work and you – you must be doing a lot of good! It doesn’t happen overnight! You will need to invest a lot in creating a digital brand. Regardless if that is yourself or your company brand. It takes time.

The Social Web is changing. Remember MySpace? Remember Bebo? Both are gone. Have you started with Google Wave, or did you decided that you will be left behind? Social media tools are changing. You need to change your skills to be able to follow the change. Your message although always the same in its essence will have to be adapted for every new web publishing and collaboration tool that comes around.

Conclusion and a Real Life Personal Branding Example
Related to the recent article about the Internet traffic on Job Sites, I asked the LinkedIN Users for their input via the LinkedIN discussion: Irish jobs sites traffic comparison chart. Here is just a short few sentences I got as a reply:

Thanks Ivan and admire your humble approach. I suspect this combined with your vast knowledge and being a genuine nice person is how you have gained my respect and trust of so many others also. You have not become one of the market leaders for no reason…

…Hope to catch up with you again at the Christmas drinks.

Would like to hear how other niche and generalist job boards are doing, if you’d like to share….

MD of one of the Irish Jobs Site

When you start getting positive comments like this from the ‘crowd’ – people you are not associated to in any way, they start forming a Digital Image of your brand. Competitors recognition as in this case is of the utmost importance – that was the reason I have chosen this comment in front of all the others. It is a bit like the eBay and the recommendations it introduced smartly in ecommerce. People trust brands that are positively spoken about online.

What will you do today to create a Digital Image of yourself that you desire?

September records highest number of new jobs in Ireland in 2009

Premier Group Irish Employment Monitor:

The Premier Group Irish Employment Monitor, which measures the pulse of the Irish professional jobs market, registered a 31% increase in the number of new professional roles coming onto the market during September 09 versus the previous month (August 09). This was the highest number of new professional job vacancies recorded in any one month so far this year.

  • During September 09, the volume of new professional job opportunities within Ireland increased 31% compared with August 09 to 4,764. This was the highest number recorded in any one month so far this year.
  • However, this was still 58% fewer new roles than a year ago (September 08)
  • The number of professionals who began their search for a new role during September 09 rose 55% versus the previous month (August 09).
  • This was a drop of 28% compared to the same month the previous year (September 08).

Read the full press release and Jobs Ireland Blog.

The most powerful marketing tool for a job seeker is…

… when all the personal branding channels are combined.

In no particular order:
1. Social networks presence – descriptive public profile combined with the active participation in discussions.
2. Personal Blog
3. Presence on the Corporate Blog
4. Any online publication (indexed by Google)

The real power of all your online presence is in the ability to connect all those channels together. Ad your friends and co workers in social networks, drive them to your blog for more status updates, get them subscribed to your RSS feeds and twitter. From your RSS and tweets send them back to your questions and discussion on your blog and social networks, and increase the readership in every jump from one media to another.

Personal branding practice as above replaces the necessity to look for a job on jobs sites. The recruiters will ‘know about you’ already anyway. Just blog daily, and publish one article or a question in the social network of your choice (relevance to your target industry).

NRF Recruitment Industry Awards 2009 Twitter #nrf2009

The National Recruitment Federation (NRF) Recruitment Industry Awards are only a week away!

The gala awards ceremony on Friday, 2nd October 2009 is at The Four Seasons Hotel. Get your dresses ready ladies, and have your suites pressed gentleman! Besides the NRF Annual Conference, this is the most important gathering of the recruitment industry professional in the calendar. Where the national conference is more as a presentations and the status check of the industry, the Gala Awards is where most of the recruiters will tell you – the real staff happens. The more relaxed evening atmosphere usually gets recruiters to ‘open up’ to each other. For Seasons Hotel is a great choice of the venue to build the atmosphere – Well done NRF!

In the run-up to the night, the general public (a.k.a. job seekers) can nominate an agency for the jobseekers choice category. A number of recruiters have tweeted about it already. I used the twitter hashtag #nrf2009 to bring them all together. Here it is so far:

Real-time results for #nrf2009

Ivanstojanovic_normal IrishRecruiter: RT @BarryVickers: #nrf2009 NRF Recruitment Industry Awards – vote for your favourite agency!: The NRF i.. about 23 hours ago from TweetDeck    

  • Ivanstojanovic_normal IrishRecruiter: RT @CPLMultilingual: #nrf2009 NRF Recruitment Industry Awards – vote for your favourite agency …: Last year.. about 23 hours ago from web    
  • Ivanstojanovic_normal IrishRecruiter: RT @nuparcdublin: PLEASE vote for Nuparc to win NRF Jobseeker’s Choice Award!! Every Vote Counts!! #nrf2009 about 24 hours ago from TweetDeck    
  • Ivanstojanovic_normal IrishRecruiter: RT @gcerasi: Will Logiskills win the NRF Jobseeker Award? Vote now and help us at #nrf2009 about 24 hours ago from TweetDeck    
  • Ivanstojanovic_normal IrishRecruiter: Hashtag – #nrf2009 = #NRF #Recruitment #Conference #Ireland #2009 about 24 hours ago from TweetDeck
  • Less jobs and far less candidates in 2009

    The recruitment in Ireland is changing, and changing a lot in this recession. We all know there are far less jobs advertised. All the metrics point to it like the Irish Employment Monitor by Premier. The Unemployment is growing as companies are reducing their staff levels or closing and leaving Ireland due to its un-competitiveness. The problem is that the skillset of the people being made redundant, in most cases does not fit the jobs advertised. The jobs advertised therefore cannot be filled by the unemployed people.

    Passive Candidate is Cautious

    Who will fill the jobs then? What about people that have jobs already? Are they interested in the career move? Well most of them again, in this market, would still prefer to stay with the existing employer. At least they will collect a redundancy package if they get fired. Leaving a job for a better one with the new employer is not on the cards of most people in the current market.

    Tough Recruitment

    This shortage of jobs combined with the current un-predictive economy actually created a shortage of the qualified candidates. Employers are hoping of hiring the top skilled staff for less then what they had to pay for a year ago. In most industries, that is just not happening to them. To make the things worse there is a whole lot of CV’s to browse trough for every job advertised, and it takes time…

    Recruitment is tough today

    Then again there are jobs that can be filled today that could not be filled 12 months ago at all. There are also cool new skills emerging, and new jobs demanding those skills. Who was hiring Search Engine Optimization Consultants, and Pay Per Click Specialists 12 months ago? Not to mention Bloggers, Social Networking Professionals, Online Branding Managers and whatever you will need in the coming months?

    Required skills are changing. Jobs are changing. The same workforce should fill those places and do those jobs. That is one of the core problems in the recruitment for the current jobs advertised in Ireland.

    Irish Recruiters Toolbar

    There are great skills hidden in the Irish recruitment workforce. Declan Fitzgerald who you all know very well by now if you are readers of this blog, have created a browser toolbar for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox.

    Irish Recruiters toolbar

    Irish Recruiters Toolbar helps you to find and read the latest blog posts on Jobs Blog! – That should be a tagline! :)

    Irish Recruiters Toolbar is represented on a video, and you can see the video and download the toolbar on Declans blog. Thanks for putting Jobs Blog in the video Dec!

    Does your CV and LinkedIN Profile Match?

    Your LinkedIN Profile is most likely a copy of your CV. If a recruiter does a ‘Background Check’ to verify your CV the same data will be on your LinkedIN ‘Published’ online Profile, and that is great. Your CV is all true. The issue with the CV and the LinkedIN Profile being the same is a missed opportunity for a job seeker.

    Your LinkedIN Profile should tell far more than your CV does to a recruiter.

    What to include in your LinkedIN Profile?

    Link to your Blog. On your blog you can show all different qualities a recruiter is searching for:
    Expertise in a subject
    Communication skills
    Writing skills
    Presentation skills
    Team Building skills
    And much more!

    Links to your Twitter account where your conversations with the other influencers in the market and subject matter expert are published and visible are the next essential part of your LinkedIN Profile. Your network of known people and especially their recommendations are what sets you apart from the thousands of other applicants for the same job.

    The CV opens the door. It invites the recruiter to start the research about you. Make sure your social media and social networking presence is the extension of your CV. If your LinkedIN Profile is a copy of your CV, it doesn’t really have a great value. It is also an opportunity missed. Career Workshop – €100 only!

    I got a mail this morning from web site. They are offering me a 100€ career workshop.


    I thought about it during a coffee this morning. Recruit Ireland have changed their model and are offering free advertisements to the Irish employers. Until they fill their books with names, whom to start selling once when the recession is gone. Their prediction is in September. That being September 2009. In the same time Jobs web site is looking for other sources of revenue. And there are the job seekers. With thousands of job seekers on your site daily, why not offer them something, for let’s say,… 100 quid? There certainly is a market for it since we are in the steady double digit unemployment with very little signs of it getting any better anytime soon. With so many people hungry for jobs – why not take a €100 of each? In a form of coaching?


    I have to admit, I like the recruit Ireland approach better with their Get Ireland Working campaign. What Jobs site is doing kind of sounds like: Get Ireland Paying. I know, I know. Recruit Ireland is after the same money. They will start charging those employers the moment they can. I just like the Employers paying for the recruitment advertising, not job seekers. I do not think it’s really fair to ask someone looking for a job, especially if unemployed – anything! Not even shaped in the fancy candy bar wrapping of ‘ Career Coaching’.


    And no, I am not a socialist.


    Here is a full offering from


    From: []
    Sent: 30 July 2009 09:32
    To: irishrecruiter

    Subject: Career Workshop – Thursday August 13th.

  - Jobs in Ireland. Irish Jobs.

    Dear Jobseeker,


    The Job Market in Ireland has changed dramatically. There are less jobs and increased competition for them. Developing your career including finding the role you want now requires a more dynamic approach to find success.

    Jane Downes of Clearview Coaching Group in conjunction with is delighted to announce, due to consistently strong feedback from previous attendees, that the next “Career Workshop” tailor made for this market will take place Thursday August 13th in the Davenport Hotel Dublin 2 at 6pm.

    Having completed research into the needs of the sites users, numerous requests were made to create a workshop for job seekers. The good news is that we have now done so and it is to be run by one of Irelands leading on the ground Career Coaching Experts, Jane Downes.

    This workshop is suitable for individuals of all levels seeking work, making total career changes or those who need to take stock and effectively plan their next move. It is also an option for an organisation seeking to offer redundancy support to employees.

    The workshop will provide its attendees with the opportunity to access expert opinion and advice in the following key areas:

    • An inventory of your own individual transferable skills.
    • An assessment of your own unique personality profile.
    • Learn the 8 key things needed and which will determine and affect your success in career change.
    • CV’s & Cover letters – How to market yourself and give an impressive consistent message.
    • Essential Interviewing skills – How to sell yourself and get more job offers.
    • Job Search Strategies and Planning – get ahead of the rest!

    Take away the following from this workshop:

    1. Clarity about where to go next including an assessment of your personality profile.
    2. Renewed confidence about what you have to offer and how to manage your career.
    3. A clear consistent message to offer potential employers.
    4. A polished and dusted off YOU ready to face the market and “go public”.
    5. A workable plan to get you to where you want to be.
    6. Increased momentum and motivation.

    Meet the Workshop Facilitator:

    Jane Downes is founder of Clearview Coaching Group ( which was established in 2004 following an extensive career working within the area of Executive Search, Recruitment and HR Consulting. Assignments frequently involved carrying out recruitment consulting projects for some of Ireland’s brand name clients. Jane uses this vital experience gained in her Executive and Career coaching sessions with her clients and in her workshops. Jane also co owns Irelands 1st Assessment and Coaching Centre for Emotional Intelligence – Jane regularly writes for the National Press on Career, Motivation & planning and managing yourself within the workplace. Jane is a qualified Life & Business Coach, Career Coach Assessor and licensed Emotional Intellegence Assessor (EQi). She also has a 1st class honours Social Science Degree from UCD and a 1st Class honours Training qualification (NUI).

    Limited places available – book today! CLICK HERE TO BOOK

    Cost: Your investment for this workshop is €100 (via
    Venue: The Davenport Hotel, Merrion Square Dublin 2
    Date: Thursday August 13th
    Time: 6.00pm – 9.15pm
    For further information please email

    If you do not wish to receive mailings from click here to unsubscribe.


    Happy with your Job?

    myhorizonlogoA study by Irish jobs website MyHorizon has found that 94 percent of Irish people are not working in their dream job.

    The report found that job seekers are willing to take the measures required to change this however, as 60 percent said they would be willing to go back to college to get the training needed to find their dream job. Career guidance had proven to be a problem area for most respondents with 88 percent saying they had received no guidance since leaving second level education.

    Independent: Headhunters hit by the recession

    independent-dublinBy Anne-Marie Walsh Industry correspondent, Monday June 15 2009

    OVER a third of recruiters have lost their own jobs, due to the record hike in unemployment.

    The industry dedicated to matching vacancies with workers has itself been decimated over the last 12 months with a total of 4,500 jobs lost in what was once a 12,000-strong sector.

    Many employment agencies have drastically reduced their staffing levels as the numbers signing on soared by 97pc.

    The group representing employment agencies, the National Recruitment Federation (NRF), saw just a handful of clients go to the wall but has recorded a massive drop in the number of employees.

    NRF president Frank Collins, said he knew of one agency where staffing levels plummeted from 12 to just one person, and another where they fell from 28 to eight.

    He said “green shoots’ were visible in some sectors of the economy, although employers were waiting to see if this would lead to a recovery.

    Managing director of recruitment website, Ivan Stojanovic, said his business survived purely because it was not heavily dependent on placement adverts.

    “Recruiters have been the hardest hit of any sector,” he said. “As time goes by, it’s getting worse and worse. I believe the figure of those who have lost their jobs in recruitment could be around two out of three.

    “If there are no signs of the unemployment rate dropping, we are facing the current Spanish rate of 18pc.”

    However, Mr Collins was more optimistic about the prospects for recruiters following a pickup in ads in the past few months.

    “January and February were the worst months, but since then it has picked up,” he said. “Recruiters had to cut their cloth to suit their revenue.

    “Without placements, there is no revenue.”

    Anne-Marie Walsh Industry correspondent

    SEO for job advertisment?

    Is Search Engine Optimization important for advertising your jobs on the job boards? Should you optimize every single job post? Isn’t optimization of job post on a job board actually only ‘Keyword Stuffing’, since you do not control any other page element?

    Short answer:

    Yes SEO is extremely important when publishing a job on a job board. Yes, you can only play with text, s0 make sure you do it well!

    Why SEO-in a individual job post?

    It will attract searches composed of number of words (‘Long Tail Search’) that describe the desired position. In general a job seeker that searches for ‘Jobs’ is on average of less ‘Quality Applicant’ than someone searching for ‘IT Project Manager Dublin South’.

    By optimising the job specification for the search engines – the quality of the applicants raise dramatically. I have done tests with a number of my clients in publishing the two versions of the same role. One the way they would ‘Normally’ write it and the other highly optimised for the most used search words combined in search phrases constructed from:

    • Job location
    • Job title or role name
    • Job Location
    • Skills required or technologies used
    • Qualifications required or desired

    The result is that the majority of candidates interviewed came from a version of the job advertised that was optimised for the search engines. The majority of the applications would tend to come from a day to 3 – 4 days after the publishing of the role. The overall quality of the applications would tend to go down as times goes by after that.

    Horizon Outplacement by Irish Jobs

    About Horizon
    Horizon is the new online, outplacement service from Is your company making staff redundant? Would you like to offer additional support and advice to ease these staff back into employment quickly, but are put off by the cost of traditional outplacement services? Then Horizon is for you. Call or email your account manager and see how we can assist you today.

    Not only that most of the national recruitment agencies offer outplacement services, but job boards decided that they could get in that market as well. Recruitment is obviously not doing that well if everyone who is involved in it is turning their service around and offering outplacement services.

    Recruitment agencies I do understand but Jobs sites becoming Outplacement service providers? Is that a bit far stretched match?

    Anne Heraty, MD of CPL sponsors Green Dragon

    If you know me at all, you probably know already that I am crazy about sailing. Ireland was one of the countries where the Volvo Ocean Race had a stop over this season. We had the best weather so far this year last weekend, and Galway was shining. The Volvo Ocean race is the second largest sporting event this country ever had, just after the Riders Cup.


    All this is due to the Irish entry in the Race – the Green Dragon boat. Millions have been invested in the boat by a number of Irish people, and there is a well known Anne Heraty from CPL who is within them and made it all happen.

    I wish to thank Anne personally. I haven’t been on a Volvo Ocean Race boat before, and it meant a lot to me as a passionate sailor.


    The Sailing Boats Croatia site has more pictures with Bertie Ahern visiting the Green Dragon.