Social media is in all places you look, which leads to the speculation about how social media could affect your job search? Social recruiting is more likely to get you hired, plus it can help you stay employed longer.
Social media continues to grow in importance for job seekers. In 2009, 12% of HR managers within the United States of America had searched for applicants on social sites, 43% of whom reportedly reconsidered hiring candidates based on what they found on those sites. In 2015, that 12% has risen to 93% and 55% say they’ve reconsidered a candidate based on content found on their social media accounts.
As newly graduated students and the recently laid-off look for open positions in a difficult job market, employers are making use of social recruiting to find potential job candidates on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Companies employing social recruiting enjoy better candidates with improved skill sets, which is why 94% of the businesses surveyed plan on social recruiting in 2015.
What is Social Recruiting?
Cutthroat competition in the talent market makes relying on antiquated practices unwise. Recruiting quality staff is no longer a matter of placing an ad and wading through a mountain of paper resumes. Today’s tech-savvy candidates expect to find jobs through online social interactions. Smart recruiters adapt quickly to this trend. Using all manner of techniques and media, they reel in optimal candidates.
Social recruiting (social hiring or social media recruitment) is recruiting candidates by using social platforms as talent databases or for advertising. Popular social media sites used for recruiting include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Viadeo, XING, Google+ and BranchOut.
Social recruiting uses social media profiles, blogs, and online communities as a talent database to find and search for passive candidate data and information. It also uses social media to advertise jobs either through HR vendors or through crowdsourcing where job seekers and others share job openings within their online social networks.
With the advent of social media, companies have more information than ever on job candidates. In the past, companies determined candidate fit through resumes. Today, employers perform web searches on candidates, learn more about them from social media, and check their work samples.
The job seeker has more opportunities today to find the right job than ever before. Tremendous amount of legwork on the part of the candidate is now replaced by a quick search on the web. Today, job seekers can leverage their network from around the web to find the top opportunities for which they are most qualified.
The Dangers of Social Recruiting
Social recruiting provides employers with a more robust representation of the job seeker than any resume or application provides.
Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ allow employers to get a glimpse of who you are outside the confines of a résumé, cover letter, or interview—while they offer job seekers the opportunity to learn about companies they’re interested in; connect with current and former employees; and hear about job openings instantaneously, among other things.
Your first impression made with a firm handshake in the past, is replaced by a Google search today. Google and the other search engines devour social postings; Everything Tweeted or posted on Facebook, LinkedIn, personal blog, or a comment on someone else’s blog may be shown to a potential employer by a search engine today or next year. It is crucial to keep your virtual image clean.
Job seekers (and employees) must carefully consider what they post in a public network. Ask yourself – what could be the consequences if my current or future boss saw this? Is this post safe for public consumption?
According to the conducted by Eurocom Worldwide, “Almost one in five technology industry executives say that a candidate’s social media profile has caused them not to hire that person.” This survey provides the first evidence that prospective of job candidates being rejected because of their profiles.
If you’re among the 89% of job seekers that use social networking sites, be careful. While sharing content publicly on social media, make sure it works to your benefit. Remove anything that could potentially be viewed by an employer as unprofessional; share content that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way.
Leveraging Social Media for Your Job Search
Used effectively and appropriately, social media can be your most valuable resources for career search and development; It provides information and connections vital to your job search. Research companies and industries, and you can also contact alumni who work at a company to learn even more.
Don’t Be Everywhere
Being active on social media makes you highly visible, but don’t go overboard. Pick platforms that make sense for your field and focus on aligning your attributes skilfully. It’s standard in media/journalism industries to be on Twitter. Employers look to see if you’re active on Instagram if you’re in creative or visual fields. Know your industry, and proceed accordingly.
Get familiar with established social networks before moving on to the next new technology. With each new social site, always remember your strategy – conveying your skills and values to potential employers and networking contacts. If you can’t achieve that on a certain network, move on to another site that works for you.
Get Your Personal Branding Down
“Personal branding” refers to marketing your name, personality, ability, style – your “brand.” This is an ongoing process of marketing yourself to others in rich, interactive ways. A coherent, explicit understanding of your career goals/strengths/ passions/specialties is your best tool in developing a personal brand. Impress recruiters with the unique and authentic you—in person, on paper, and online. Focus on what makes you unique to find the right brand for you.
- Have a consistent brand across your social platforms.
- People should know who you are, what you do, and where you’re going.
- Step up and stand out. Invest in a personal website.
- Know Where You Want To Be And Prepare Adequately
Research the company that you want to apply for and introduce yourself to the key people. Mention your future intentions and why you perceive yourself as a ‘good fit’. This enables them to think of you for future openings. Be ready to do things that are not your ‘dream’ in the interim.
Engage With Prospective Employers
Use social media tools to find and then communicate with prospective employers, then use the tools and platforms to communicate your knowledge, suitability or passion for a position. Following prospective employers and engaging with them rather than jumping straight in and asking for job opportunities is the best advice I can give.
LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking platform and search engine. 94% of recruiters use social media to fill open positions.
- Keep Your Profile Updated: Make sure your profile is the strongest it can be—to impress as you’re connecting with new people and looking at new jobs.
- Inject your personality into your summary. Expound on your values and passions. Make sure your experience section has bullet that describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it affected.
- Don’t miss out: When Unemployed, include a Current Job Entry or you’ll get missed in most searches. Create a listing in the “current section” that includes the job title(s) you’re targeting—‘Full-Time Student/Financial Analyst in Training’—followed by a phrase like ‘In Transition’ or ‘Seeking New Opportunity’ in the Company Name box.
- Showcase your work, add Multimedia. A picture truly is worth a 1,000 word. Add photos, videos, and slide show presentations. Show yourself in action.
- Be Find-able: Search engine optimization (SEO) is very important when you are crafting your own profile. Right keywords in the headline, job title, and summary of your profile make you find-able. Recruiters use keyword searching to find their clients the right people.
- Build Your Network: LinkedIn is a veritable live global village of mentors and mentee, job leads, and business opportunities. Connect with everyone. Send personal customized messages when connecting, instead of the standard message LinkedIn can send – it helps forge a relationship.
- Join industry groups that are a good match for your expertise and career goals. Another useful job-hunting feature is the alumni search. Go to Contacts and slide down to Schools. Here you can find people who graduated from your alma mater and other pertinent information. Connecting with alumni is a very effective way to network.
I will cover tips for using Facebook and Twitter to enhance your job search in my next post.