A recent study by conducted by recruiting platform Jobvite suggests that companies are now using social media to find and recruit potential employees. 90% of US-based companies are planning to use social networking to find job vacancies, an increase of 7% from last year’s figures. Two-thirds of the companies surveyed reported that they were successful in filling in vacancies when their human resources departments began to utilize social networking websites.
Social media and social networking websites are changing the way human resources and headhunters function by making the process of locating people with the right qualifications for a job easier, faster, and more efficient. LinkedIn, a website that claims to be the largest professional social network on the internet today, boasts a roster of more than 150 million members from all walks of life, including all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies.
It may be time for this current generation’s fresh wave of job applicants to start using social media to their advantage. Here are a few tips on how to optimise your online presence for employment and make social networking work for you.
Create a LinkedIn profile. This is key, as most companies won’t be digging into your Facebook profile when conducting that background check. Facebook may be the largest social networking website today, but it remains an informal medium, and is not as business-focused as LinkedIn is.
Once you’ve got yourself a LinkedIn account, build your network by attaching yourself to professionals to whom an employer or recruiter can send a request for a referral of a candidate for a specific job opening. This is called “building a referral chain” and will be useful in giving you a heads-up for the kinds of jobs you want when they become available, as well as increasing your chances of getting that job, if you build strong relationships with the people within your network enough for you to be recommended.
Look up some of your former colleagues from previous jobs that you trust and value and rope them into your circle for potential future employment opportunities. Apart from already having built rapport with them, these people can be valuable character references that you can use to acquire future employment.
Respond to questions in the “Answers” section of LinkedIn to the best of your ability. Responding raises your profile within the community, and also grants you a nice level of visibility as an expert.
Do try to maintain a pristine online image on other social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, just in case a potential employer might go digging. Ramp up your security settings so that what’s between friends stays between friends, and doesn’t bleed into your professional life in a way that can reflect you in a bad light. If you absolutely must have a public profile, try, as much as possible, to refrain from being crude or trollish. Inappropriate content, even on your personal page, can turn off potential employers, subsequently causing you to lose out on a golden opportunity, or even lose the current job you have now.
If none of these tips work, you can try getting lucky. Angry Robot publishing hired author Adam Christopher after he friended them on Twitter and responding to their tweets in an intelligent, insightful manner. Happy jobhunting!
Author Bio: George is a writer who occasionally does work for Eyeglasses4all.com, an online vendor of prescription glasses and designer sunglasses. He likes to remind all geeks and nerds like himself that smart is sexy and that the right pair of glasses are lingerie for the eye