Here's an interesting stat that has absolutely no relevance to our readers: 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, according to CareerBuilder.

"Candidates" in this context means applicants for jobs - not the types of executives found in GatedTalent, senior executives who are typically "passive" and expect recruiters to come to them.

So, why am I sharing an irrelevant stat? Because I would suggest that "personal branding" is far more important for senior executives. The reason? Generally, a search consultant will find an executive via a referral, via LinkedIn, or via a site like GatedTalent. In each of these cases, it will be this that creates the "first impression" in the eyes of the recruiter. A poor first impression can lead to a recruiter not talking a candidate further.

For more junior positions, an online presence may impact on how far a candidate makes it through a process. For an executive, what an online footprint says can actually be the difference between getting into the search process or not!

At GatedTalent, we provide all of our members with a lot of advice on how to optimize profiles within our platform. Based on popular demand, we are now launching a series of webinars educating our premium members on how to optimize a LinkedIn profile for career success. Log in to your account to register.