Right now, everyone knows it’s a candidate’s market. You don’t have to complete your career profiles online in order to be contacted by recruiters – if you whisper “I hate my boss” in your sleep, you’ll likely wake up with five voicemails, two texts and 7 emails from recruiters who are willing to offer you the change you’re looking for.
Because of the realities of the market, it may be easy to assume you don’t need to bother adding contextual details to your career profiles – the things that make you seem like a real human, like a profile photo, cover photo, and status updates. But just because you’re not looking for a new job today doesn’t mean you should ignore the human aspect of maintaining a robust career profile.
For recruiters, the pressure of hiring may make it seem like status updates are a waste of time – you have more work on your plate than you can possibly complete – why bother with writing a status update when you could be using that time searching for candidates? It’s hard to tell if anyone is paying attention, anyway.
Whether you’re a cleared candidate or recruiter, however, status updates should be something you include on your career profile. Updating your status updates should be a part of your professional networking/development routine. As one recruiter just wrote – first impressions are no longer made in person. Building your reputation begins online, and a status update is one of the greatest ways to introduce some personality into what can be a very impersonal online recruiting process.
Whether you’re a recruiter or job seeker, here are some sample status updates to help you shine.
1. RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
Use your status update to relay current events, industry trends, and more. Your sharing options include links, files, and images – so be creative!
Example: “Virginia has the second highest concentration of tech workers. When you think of Virginia, do you think tech powerhouse? You should!” https://news.clearancejobs.com/2019/04/02/virginia-has-second-highest-concentration-of-tech-workers/
2. UPCOMING EVENTS
While first impressions are made online, in-person events are still a great way for candidates and employers to connect and network. There’s nothing like putting a face with a name. If you’re an employer, you can let candidates know about company open houses, job fairs and other networking opportunities. If you’re a candidate, you can let employers know about conferences or meet-ups your planning to attend.
Example: “Don’t miss our aerospace and tech open house, this Wednesday from 2-7 PM at our company headquarters, 1234 Aerospace Drive, Colorado Springs. Check out the link to register and get more details, but drop-in attendees are also welcome!”
3. TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE
Conventional wisdom may be that a status update should be broad – broad enough to engage any potential recruiter or job seeker. But just like a Jack of all trades becomes master of none, a status update meant for anyone in the security-clearance community is not likely to appeal to anyone. If you’re only looking for a certain type of position or candidate, make sure that’s clear in your status updates. Also keep in mind that on an exclusive, niche site like ClearanceJobs.com, your status updates are even more targeted. Recruiter profiles are only viewed by job seekers, not other recruiters. And job seeker profiles are only viewed by recruiters, not just any job seeker.
Example: “Currently staffing for 14 engineering positions in Reston, VA. TS/SCI clearances required. If the job I posted looks like a great fit, I’d love to hear from you!”
Example: “Most of my recent experience is in intelligence analysis, but I keep seeing positions for irregular warfare analyst that seem like they’d be a great fit with my special forces background.”
4. ASK A QUESTION/PLAY THE PAGE SEARCH GAME
Your status update isn’t a conversation hub, per-se, but if the goal of any page is to convert a looker into a connection, sometimes it pays to ask a question. On either end of the job search spectrum, it can be hard to know how to make a ‘cold’ introduction. A question in your status update warms the way for someone to reach out and contact you. One unique way I’ve recently seen recruiters do this is by using their cover photo to prompt discussion. The bonus of this is that it encourages someone to not just scan your profile, but spend some time there.
Example: “Does anyone recognize the building in my cover photo? Bonus points if you’ve ever been there! I saw it on a recent vacation and it was even more beautiful in-person!”
5. JOB SEARCH TIPS/APPLICATION TIPS
Everyone wants advice and feedback. If you’re a recruiter, one of the best gifts you can likely give candidates is a bit of knowledge and insight into your hiring preferences. If you’re a job seeker, save a recruiter time by indicating your personality and preferences in your status update.
Example: “I love to see a great skills summary at the beginning of a resume – particularly one that includes certifications and clearance details!”
Example: “I just got back from vacation in Cabo and it was AMAZING! The most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. Now I’m back at the office more recharged and motivated. Work-life balance is so important!”
6. HUMOR/INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES
When in doubt, humor and inspirational quotes can be a great way to provide fodder for status updates. Rather than being impersonal, they reveal a lot about your personality. Having scanned a few online profiles in my day, I can certainly ascertain something of an individual’s personality based on whether or not they quote the Dalai Lama or Will Rogers. And since a status update is an opportunity for you to show personality, don’t be afraid to portray humor, as well. Just remember to give credit where it’s due. If you’re going to include a quote as a status update, make sure you use attribution.
Example: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
Final note: The purpose of a status update on an online profile is to reveal your personality. Striking the right blend of personality and professional will look a little different for everyone, so don’t be afraid to change it up a bit. The main thing is to post something!