Today the team were very excited to be be able to announce a new Talk About Local project – Networking for Work, designed to help unemployed people take control of their online presence and promote themselves to employers.
Recent research showed that 77% of recruiters said they used search engines to find background data on candidates and 35% admitted they eliminated a candidate because of what they found online, yet only 33% of candidates bothered to search for information on themselves, to see what their prospective employer might find out. (Execunet, The Guardian 12 April 2011)
Networking for Work aims to help jobseekers look good online as well as offline, offering training and advice in basic steps to appearing professional online and using simple services such as Facebook and LinkedIn to market yourself. Networking for Work will also show people how to protect themselves from inappropriate online searches by employers for non-professional information. We also hope to create a peer-to-peer network of trainees to provide ongoing mutual support and help.
Networking for Work is a public service project funded by the Nominet Trust. So we plan to give away the final training materials created by Networking for Work under a permissive creative commons licence for anyone to use. And have an open collaborative approach to developing new materials and resources and signposting existing ones.
Resources and training materials are under development but are available on the Networking for Work website, as are interviews with trainees from pilot training sessions at Midland Heart‘s Burslem Job Club. We have also published an eye-opening interview with an employer who freely admits to conducting online searches of job candidates and using what he finds to inform his decision about people, saying “If you’re moaning all the time on Twitter you’re not going to get very far.”