A recent study conducted by Jobvite claims that social media has become the new, hip thing in recruiting potential employees. 90% of companies are planning to use social networking to find job candidates – an increase of 7% from last year. Two-thirds reported they had been successful in filling vacancies by using social networking websites.
I previously talked about how social media is changing the journalistic landscape. It’s natural that its influence also extends to how human resources and headhunters function. Places like LinkedIn – a website that claims to be the largest professional social network – now make the process of locating qualified individuals for a position faster and more efficient.
The statistics don’t lie, so you may want to become more proactive in making social media work for you. Here are a few tips on how to effectively create an online profile optimized for employment.
The first thing you need to understand is that Facebook is not the leading network these companies are looking at when they conduct their background check. Creating a LinkedIn profile is a good place to start because it’s less personal than Facebook is. In other words, LinkedIn is more legit. If you manage to get connected to the right circle, you may become one step closer to getting that dream job. This business-focused social networking website claims to have members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies who are using it to expand their own business contacts. If you get lucky, you may be able to snag a referral or hear about a recent job opening.
The second thing you need to consider is keeping those post-party disaster photos to yourself and your nearest and dearest friends. I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping a pristine online reputation. With companies now checking into the Facebook profiles of people they’re looking to hire, it can only help you to utilize those nifty Privacy settings that Facebook is always ramping up. If you must have a public profile, try to censor your comments, especially when you’re on the lookout for a new place of employment. Yes, I said it: even the comments. Inappropriate content can not only make you lose your shot at a new job, but it can also cost you the job you have now.
The third thing you must do is network, network, network. It’s called social networking, right? Keep in touch with former supervisors and coworkers. They already know your niche, what you’re good at, what you’re capable of. Build a large enough network and you can place yourself in a prime position that can help you land a job with a good company. Maintain this network even after you become employed, just in case you find yourself out of work again in the future – Then it’ll be easy to get right into the thick of things and find yourself a new job, pronto.
Or, you could try and get lucky. After struggling for years, author Adam Christopher used Twitter to befriend publisher, Angry Robot, and it resulted in them offering the guy a job. Social networking is changing the recruitment scene, so it’s time to wise up, cuz’ns.