No longer just a place for selfies and cat videos, social media channels have evolved to become very useful recruitment tools. Recent research has shown that 92% of companies now use social media to source candidates, with 93% of those on LinkedIn, 66% using Facebook and 54% Twitter. A decade ago, social media would have been the last place to look for a candidate, but now:
- 73% of companies have made a successful hire via social media
- 42% say that the quality of their hires has improved
- 20% say that social media reduces the time it takes to hire
So, if employers are using it to this degree, it’s vital that candidates in turn use social media to their advantage too, to identify job opportunities, network, and establish their own personal brand – but tread carefully, there are downsides to be aware of!
- You can apply for advertised roles easily. Some companies don’t use job boards now so if you’re not on social media, you could miss out
- You’re making yourself a visible presence to recruiters who can find and approach you
- You can build a different kind of network and engage with a wider audience
- You can create positive PR by adding testimonials, endorsements and presentations of your work onto your social media accounts
- You can speak to recruiters, headhunters and prospective employers throughout your job search by engaging with them in real time
A public social media profile comes with its risks as well:
- 75% of hiring managers and recruiters will check a candidate’s social media profile (even if they’re not provided).
- One in every three employers have rejected candidates based on something they found on their social profiles
- 78% of employers disapprove of references to using illegal drugs
- 67% react negatively to posts of a sexual nature
How to use social media effectively
Treat your social media profile as you would your CV or an interview – as a tool to create a positive impression. You can highlight skills, qualities, achievements, as well as allow an insight into your personality.
- Use a professional looking photo (not a holiday snap or a night out). If possible, wear business dress and have a clear background
- Use a professional headline, making it clear for recruiters to distinguish who you are and what your brand is
- Include key words about your role, responsibilities, accountabilities and strengths, so that you appear in searches
- Highlight recent achievements that are relevant to the type of role you want
- Share articles from industry sites and groups to expand your network
- On LinkedIn, ask previous employers and colleagues to provide recommendations and endorsements for your profile page
- While Facebook and Twitter are less formal than LinkedIn, keep it professional. You don’t have to post anything personal if you prefer, you can just follow companies or topics and like or retweet them. The content you like should be used to show your interest in a particular career.
If you need advice on using social media to help find your next job, contact us today.