Chances are, you’ve at least had one job search in the past few years. In our growing world of social media, being a applicant is much more than creating an impressive paper resume. In the 2014 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey, Jobvite found that 69% of recruiters “expect competition to increase in 2015”. This means that companies need to figure out how to continue attracting and finding the best talent. To do so, 93% of recruiters are already using or planning to use social media in their hiring. If competition is increasing for jobs, how do you compare to the best of the best?
Moreover, if almost all of recruiters are using social media in their efforts, what can candidates do to make sure they present themselves in the best way possible on social media?
1. Maintain a professional social media image.
If you are a fellow classmate of mine in #IS6621, you’ve already created a professional Twitter and WordPress account. Don’t stop there. A few companies are even using Pinterest as a way to recruit. LinkedIn is also a wonderful way to place yourself into a talent pool filled with recruiters who are searching for candidates.
On LinkedIn, make sure to spice up your profile by using a professional headshot (BC Career Fairs usually have a free LinkedIn picture booth), providing details in the volunteer section and filling up the skills & endorsements area. To take it a step further, consider going to your connections and endorsing them. If you’re lucky, they will see your support and endorse you back. You should not have to worry about what exactly they endorse you in since all your skills should align with your professional goals. Another opportunity to give some personality to your online resume is with your summary. Talk about your background, passions, and if you are an active candidate, make sure to include what you are looking for in your next position. Candidates can fill out the summary in the first person or the third person, depending on what you prefer.
2. While ‘building’ your online self, consider what you shouldn’t have.
Although companies are not always checking your social media to find unattractive qualities, you want to make sure that your brand is consistent and positive. For instance, if you have a professional Twitter, you should also scan your Facebook profile to see if it works well with your brand. The second part of this is to Google yourself to see what comes up. Remember that social media is forever online; so don’t be surprised if something from 2002 appears. If you find anything that may not make you be the best candidate possible, consider requesting its removal on Google. Looking at all of your social media accounts with a professional lens is necessary to ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best way possible. Even if your account is intended for personal use, a potential employer can still view it.
3. Social media provides you with social networks- use them.
Every social media account you have is another opportunity to connect with a recruiter or to continue working your brand. The best way to use these networks is to make sure you are constantly making connections. On Twitter, spend a few minutes looking for professionals with your ideal career path or companies you are attracted to. Following brand professionals and other business accounts tailored to your interests will give you thought-provoking content in addition to giving you more potential connections. If an industry professional tweets something that you can intelligently respond to, engage in that conversation. You never know when someone will take notice of you. This also applies to LinkedIn. While it may not be recommended to connect with someone you do not know, you can always reach out to alumni or recruiters if you have a business reason. To make this a bit less creepy, you can customize your LinkedIn Invite. Talk about why you want to connect with them. If they accept, you can then send them a private message to expand further and ask for a meeting or phone call. Another option is to browse for groups that relate to your professional path.
If recruiters are using social media to find candidates, you should be following these guidelines to give yourself the best chance at landing that dream job.