For years, people used social media like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram just to share their lives with others. But now, social media has become a major factor in job searching—and for recruiters.
According to a recent CareerBuilder survey:
- 37% of companies say they use social networking sites to research job prospects.
- Of the employers who don’t use social networking sites to get information on candidates, 15% say it’s because their company prohibits the practice.
- 11% report they don’t use social media now but plan to start using it for screening.
How are hiring managers using social media to research candidates? And, what should you—or shouldn’t you—post on your social media profiles if you want to get hired?
Employers are using social media to dig deeper than a traditional interview. What are they looking for?
- Whether the candidate presents himself/herself professionally: 65%
- Whether the candidate is a good fit for the company culture: 51%
- More about the candidate’s qualifications: 45%
- Whether the candidate is well-rounded: 35%
And what online information could be costing you a job? More than one-third of hiring managers reported that the following discoveries led to a candidate not getting hired:
- Candidates posted provocative or inappropriate photos or information: 48%
- Evidence of candidate drinking or using drugs: 45%
- Candidate had poor communication skills: 35%
- Candidate bad-mouthed previous employer: 32%
- Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion or other topic: 28%
- Candidate lied about his or her qualifications: 22%
First things first: Never assume you’re posting anything with complete privacy. And Google yourself. If any of the first 20 links that come up show you in a negative light—blog posts about controversial topics, use of bad language, pictures of you doing kegstands—delete them. Refrain from posting such activity in the future and make sure your friends aren’t tagging you in inappropriate posts or pictures on Facebook.
On the Plus Side
Nearly one-third of surveyed employers reported that some discoveries led to them extending a job offer:
- They got a good feel for the candidate’s personality: 58%
- Candidate conveyed a professional image: 55%
- Background information supported candidate’s professional qualifications: 54%
- Candidate was well-rounded and showed a wide range of interests: 51%
- Candidate had great communication skills: 49%
- Candidate was creative: 44%
- Other people posted great references about the candidate: 34%
So learn to use social media to enhance your chances of getting hired! You want your online persona to be all about what a great employee you are. Participate in groups on LinkedIn to promote your experience. Create a personal website specifically related to your job search including your resume, samples, your portfolio, and certifications. Or, start a blog related to your career interests. For example, if you’re interested in a career in real estate, consider blogging about industry trends, news and related topics.
Any more questions about the new world of job search? Contact High Profile to find out the latest tips.