Make Social Media Rock Not Hinder Your Job Search

 

 

 

You’ve heard it all before. Social media is vital to your job search.

It affects your professional image online. Your social media profiles inherently influence your ‘brand.’

So what has changed in the job market? Pretty much nothing. Recruiters and employers still use social media as a means of weeding out or choosing job candidates.

The only issue here is whether you are acting consistently consciously on your online profiles. Why? Cause everyone is social media more now than ever to try and dig up some dirt on you.

And the other glaring issue is whether you are leveraging social media effectively to benefit your job search and career prospects. Its one thing to have a clean image, and an entirely other matter in having employers drawn to you like a magnet through your creative social media reach outs.

First off, below are some statistics that show the good and the bad of what your social profiles do for you.

(stats used from themuse)

 

The negative turn off social media accounts

 

1 of 3 employers rejected job candidates based on what they found on their social profiles.

This statistic broken down includes items such as:

  • 78% of recruiters disapprove of any reference to illegal drugs, and mug shots and alcohol pics are not great either.
  • 67% of recruiters were turned down by anything of a sexually suggestive nature.

 

Nothing is private online either. 3 out of 4 hiring managers and recruiters will go through your profiles, whether you have told them about it or consented.

And privacy settings do not mean anything. For social media platforms, it is a seller’s market, where employers will go to surprising lengths to check out what you say online.

Broken down further, these are turn-offs.

  • Gossiping about previous employers.
  • Anything politically incorrect or excessive to a particular group of society.

Remember, there are loopholes for employers and companies. For instance, a security firm or an organization with a particular ethos like a religious organization will be able to gain access to your profiles even if you put them as private.

 

Especially for job searchers, make sure to monitor what is going on in your social media accounts. See who is commenting, where you are tagged, what group photos you may be in. Often people forget others have embarrassing pictures or comments of you saved somewhere. Use your favored username and others to make sure your overall image is acceptable.

 

Positive statistics that list the growing use of social media in hiring

 

  • 73% of hires were successful with social media
  • 42% of companies say the quality of candidates was improved
  • 20% say it takes less time
  • 31% there was an increase in employee referrals, where 65% of recruiters compensate employees for referrals

Overall, the consensus is that there is a growing reliance on social media use in the hiring process. And it’s not surprising. Younger generations are the next gens of social media savvy users. Millennials included, it is a part of life today and how we communicate with our friends and with people around the globe.

 

Are you using social media as your employer magnet?

 

Simply having an excellent LinkedIn profile and well-groomed social media accounts are not enough. Employers and recruiters use your profiles to paint a picture of what sort of person you are. Employers consider what sort of person you are informally as much as your professional aptitude.

Consider the findings made by the Harvard Business Review. The result high turnover rates due to poor cultural fit can cost an organization 50-60% of the candidate’s annual salary. Your social interactions and profiles need to exude your acceptance and agreeableness of the value and culture of companies you are targeting.

This works both ways. You will leave if there is a big enough disconnect with the culture, even if it means leaving a glamorous firm. It will cost you precious time that could have been spent working and gaining experience in a place you fit well in. Use what you find on company social media accounts, both what the company and employees say to obtain a picture of what culture the company exemplifies for your sake.

Also, the rise of using social media to advertise jobs and referring others via social media is on the rise and getting stronger.

 

You need a plan. Below are a few simple ways to get started.

  1. First off have a list of the companies you are targeting.
  2. Either use your profiles or create new ones using your full name to start to follow these companies.
  3. Focus on subscribing to their newsletters through their websites, and follow the social media profiles of the company.
  4. Also follow people that are decision makers: Leaders in the business, senior management, and others. Don’t be afraid to connect with employees your age too, as referrals from internal employees can land you the job.
  5. Interact with these companies. Comment and add useful links to related topics/solutions.

 

A rule of thumb to follow is being aware of the written and unwritten ways of behaving and interacting on these platforms. Rules are visible such as in LinkedIn groups, or they can be extracted from viewing how others communicate with each other.

The most important thing is to start now and build social traction. Companies and employers look for consistency, as it is a trait valued in employees. Also if you are trying to woo employers, you need to convey your genuine interest by expressing your interest online consistently and over a period of time.

Why? Today, more than ever, everyone is eying your profiles. It is a viable tool to use, more so as more and more people are online now than ever.

 

It’s not enough to only have a clean image today. Companies now ‘expect’ you to have an interest in them, their industry, their leaders, and the news related to them. Everyone else is doing it, so if you have nothing to show, it will become a shortcoming. Interest must evidenced via social interactions, comments, likes, memberships to online groups.

 

What social platforms do you use to connect with professionals?

What tips can you give in how to interact with companies? Please share your insight and advice in the comments below.

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