Social Media and its role in shipping recruitment

Social media plays a significant part in our daily lives and it can be used to your advantage when looking for your next job. It can also work against you so beware!

Having a profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Xing, is quite standard. It allows you to effectively put your CV into the marketplace, maintain and develop your network and keep up to date with industry developments, events and so on.

From the outset, focus on what you need to do in order to create a positive impression. Often the first impression someone will have of you is from your profile picture so only publish photos of yourself that you feel portray the right image to any potential employer.

There are 3 main forums employers tend to look at for more information about a candidate:

  1. LinkedIn – the world’s largest online professional network where you can connect with other professionals.
  2. Facebook – used largely for social activities but increasingly playing a role in recruitment. Remember that if your profile settings are public then it is very easy for an employer to find out what you get up to.
  3. Twitter – often used to express opinions. Be careful which opinions you express and who they are directed at.

LinkedIn provides a great way to market yourself and your key skills and experience alongside developing a network of contacts that can be useful to you throughout your career. You can also ask your colleagues, clients, ex-employers to add a recommendation against your profile so that they, as well as you, can highlight how good you are at what you do. In order to strengthen your profile it is important to:

  • Have a professional-looking photo, preferably in work attire. Avoid using photos of you on holiday, on a night out or obvious selfies!
  • State your last 3 roles, including key words, responsibilities, accountabilities and strengths.
  • Highlight recent achievements that are relevant to what you are looking to do.
  • Skills – start with 3-5 and ask colleagues to endorse you.
  • Be active – share articles from industry sites and groups. Show you are interested in your professional development.

Twitter can also be used to help with your job search. Companies will often tweet about events that they are hosting or attending and opportunities they have. By joining in and re-tweeting content you can raise your profile. You can pin some of your own tweets to ensure they stay at the top of your profile, no matter how old they are. This can be very useful when thinking about what you want to be the first impression of you. You can also start conversations and show examples of your work through clever marketing – remember that the number of characters is limited so you really want to just focus on the important information you want people to know about you.

Facebook is increasing in terms of its use for recruitment but remains weaker in most geographical regions than LinkedIn. However, it is worth still keeping your profile and updates at a level that you would be happy with if a potential employer was to read it.

Remember that once something about you is on the internet, it may be visible to more people than you would think and therefore you should be very focused on what you post.

Maintaining a social media presence and working your network is time-consuming. Remember at all times that it is a representation of you. Research indicates that two out of five employers will investigate your social media presence before considering offering you a position and that number is only going to increase so always keep in mind that what you post could have a direct impact on your career, now or in the future.

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