If you are looking for a job, or have recently, it’s likely that you’ve utilized social media to search and apply for jobs. In addition to keeping in touch with friends, social media is a great way to sift through the various job listings and learn more about the companies you are interested in. In some instances, you can even use social media to submit your job application and resume.
However, has it ever occurred to you that employers are using the web to search for you? It’s true. There are a number of ways you can use this to your advantage and increase your chances of getting hired.
Social Networks Employers Use
Job recruiters scour social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find candidates. If you apply for a job, it’s very likely that someone in human resources will be checking out your online presence. But before you run off and delete those spring break photos from your Facebook page, read on.
A recent survey by Reppler, an online presence monitoring service, found that employers tend to look at Facebook and Twitter the most of all social networking sites. What’s more, they visit these sites early in the vetting process. Almost half of the recruiters said that they look at social networking sites after receiving the application while only 15% visit the sites after having a conversation with the applicant. Reppler interprets this activity to mean that employers are using these sites to get an idea of who you are as a person.
What Recruiters Are Looking For
Generally speaking, recruiters and employers examine your personality traits and use what they learn about you to predict how well you will fit in to their organization, as well as how you will perform your job.
According to Reppler, 60% of recruiters have rejected a candidate because of what they learned about them online. The main reason for rejection is if the applicant lies about their qualifications. Apparently, some candidates put one thing on their resume while their online profiles indicate something entirely different. This is a major resume mistake to avoid.
Other reasons for rejection include:
- The candidate posts inappropriate photos. A photo of yourself with a glass of wine in your hand isn’t going to hurt you, but if you’re falling down drunk or are clearly using illegal drugs, then your image suffers.
- The candidate posts inappropriate comments. Avoid making statements that would be considered inappropriate in the workplace.
- The candidate posts negative comments about employers. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
- The candidate demonstrates poor communications skills. Employers are looking for people who can be understood in both verbal and written communication, so spelling and grammar count, even on social media sites.
Manage Your Online Presence
To ensure that you present yourself in the best possible way, public relations job recruiters suggest you do the following:
- Use Facebook privacy settings to control who can see posts on your page.
- Control the settings for what others can post on your Facebook wall.
- Make your Twitter account public so that it can be seen, but keep it professional.
- Make sure that information about you is consistent with what is on your resume.
- Google yourself occasionally to see what is out there about you.
Take a look at all of your social media profiles as if you were a job recruiter. What would you think of this person? Would you hire him or her? Maybe your posts are fine, but what about your friends? Are they posting inappropriate pictures and comments on your sites? You may have to change your settings or ask your friends to stop.
Social Job Hunting Apps
If you’re looking to be hired, there’s an app for that. Employers are beginning to use apps on their jobs sites to learn more about you during the application process. Some of the most popular apps are:
- Apply with LinkedIn. To use Apply with LinkedIn, simply click on the button to apply for the job using the information in your LinkedIn profile. When you do, you will see who in your network already works there.
- Pooldip. The Pooldip app allows companies to manage and hire their Facebook fans. Become a fan of the page of a company that you want to work for, and you then have the opportunity to transfer your professional information from your LinkedIn account. Your personal information and photos on Facebook will remain private and cannot be seen by the company.
- BeKnown. Once you install BeKnown to your Facebook page, the app will share with your connections the companies you worked at, schools you attended, and other professional information. You can also use the app to search and apply for jobs without leaving Facebook. BeKnown will help match you to jobs based on the information in your profile.
The Future of Hiring
It is predicted that companies will doing more screening and recruiting of job candidates on social media sites, so don’t be surprised if you’re expected to engage in a preliminary interview via an instant message chat on Facebook or Twitter. Because of this, we may see fewer career expos and job fairs where those in need of a job can meet with recruiters and shop resumes.
If you are seeking a job, you should also consider creating an online portfolio to showcase your work and accomplishments. Furthermore, artists and designers should consider joining a site like BigBlackBag.com or DeviantArt.com.
Because social media recruiting offers so many advantages to both employers and job seekers, it’s here to stay. Even if you’re not looking for work now, you’ll be ahead of the game if you start monitoring your online presence and crafting your image to appeal to those for whom you would like to work in the future.
Have you found or applied for a job using a social media site or app? How was the experience?
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