Professionals in the Tech sector are putting their career prospects at risk by failing to tailor their LinkedIn profiles when they apply for new positions, according to new research from global specialist employment recruiter Randstad.

A survey of 2,000 British workers found that while 80% of Tech employees tailor their CVs, over half (55%) do not update their LinkedIn profiles.

Though this is higher compared to employees in other sectors such as Legal (24%) and Finance (20%), a significant number of employees are still failing to personalise their profiles, hence hurting their career prospects.

Do you tailor your CV and your LinkedIn profile when applying for a new job?

Percentage of Tech workers:

  • I tailor my CV only: 42%
  • I tailor both my CV and my LinkedIn profile: 38%
  • I don’t tailor either: 13%
  • I tailor my LinkedIn profile only: 7%

Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Technologies, comments: “It is worrying that over half of professionals in the Tech sector are not paying attention to their online persona, even though this information is more immediately available and accessible than ever before. 

“Social media has become an important communication platform, and more employers now check these channels to review potential candidates for suitability and to obtain more information – particularly through LinkedIn. Candidates need to be aware that this is essentially an online CV. Unless you have the time to personalise your profile for each role, it is better to include less information than overcrowd it with too much, which may only serve to highlight your extraneous experience and skills. Too much information can be harmful if a potential employer decides it is not relevant.”

Do you worry about your social media presence?

The survey found that Tech workers were confident when it came to their social media presence – with over two thirds of respondents (65%) saying they do not worry about future employers reviewing their social media. However, a quarter admitted that they were concerned about social media blunders, with almost a third (32%) citing issues such as offensive or contentious posts as a major errors, and just under a third (29%) concerned about inappropriate pictures. A quarter of Tech workers (26%) considered bad spelling and grammar a potential social media pitfall.   

While issues such as improper photos and posts gained broadly similar number of responses across the different sectors, Tech workers were more worried than other sectors about not having enough social media presence (15%) and an outdated LinkedIn profile (11%), suggesting a better awareness of the pitfalls of social media. 

Accordingly, more professionals in the Tech sector would investigate a prospective candidate using Facebook (39%) or LinkedIn (32%) compared with other types of media such as a cursory Google search or Twitter review. However, compared with employees in other sectors, professionals in the Tech sector were more likely to use LinkedIn than other sectors such as Finance or Legal to conduct a review of potential candidates.

Percentage of employees who would use LinkedIn to investigate a candidate:

  • Tech 32%
  • Engineering 26%
  • Finance 24%
  • Construction 17%
  • Property 17%
  • Legal 16%
  • Social Care 14%
  • Education 11%

Ruth Jacobs concludes: “The dangers of having inappropriate photos or posts on social media are well-known – whether these impart the wrong impression or cause damage to reputation. As well as taking care of their physical impression, prospective candidates now also have to take care of their online persona."

"However, having no social media presence is not a solution either. Especially now that online technology has become so intertwined with business it is important for candidates to show employers that they keep up with these advances, are aware and know how to use them – as their jobs might potentially involve these.”