You might have a great CV but what potential employers want to know is what you’re like in real life. One way they can do this is by checking out your social media profiles on the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
According to a recent survey, this is exactly what three in four of hiring managers and recruiters do! It’s called online profiling and it’s becoming more and more prevalent among HR departments and recruiters. Essentially, it involves researching the online credentials of prospective candidates to see if there’s anything they like (or don’t like) before moving to the next stage of the recruitment process. As you can imagine, this can have a huge impact on your career prospects and your ability to earn a living wage.
What do you look like online?
With so many companies using social media platforms for their own marketing, many organisations have dedicated staff to update their pages, as well as monitor employees, drive recruitment campaigns and review candidates looking for employment opportunities at the company. 36% said they had screened out candidates on the basis of their posts on social media for a wide range of reasons, from uploading silly photos, doing too much partying, or for airing views that aren’t compatible with company culture. So it could be to your advantage to watch what you post, as well as review and update your online presence to make yourself more marketable to employers.
The obvious solution might be to set your social media profiles to ‘private’, but this can impact your chances too should an employer carry out an online profiling check. If they can’t find you online, it could make them think you have something to hide. One answer is to have a private account for personal posts and a public account for career purposes. Just make sure that you remain active on your public account.
Using social media to improve your job prospects
Equally, you can use social media to your advantage when it comes to finding and securing employment opportunities. The most obvious example here is using LinkedIn for job searches, networking and to research potential employers.
You can follow companies you like on Twitter and even respond to their posts to show you’re interested in what they do. If you can tailor your posts to show that you’re a job seeker, or hint at the type of work you’re looking for, whether that’s civil service jobs, IT jobs, teaching jobs or even project manager jobs, all the better. By including updates relevant to those niches, you can make recruiters sit up and take notice. Taking it further still, if you can show creativity and originality in your posts that too could make you stand out.
Find them before they find you
Of course, before tailoring your social media updates for recruiters, you need to know who’s recruiting. One way to do that is by visiting Zoek UK, where you can search through thousands of employment opportunities in every sector from technology and IT jobs to government jobs, security officer jobs, and education jobs. Then, it’s a matter of tailoring your posts in order to link to a skill or requirement in the job posting and engage the employer. If an employer should single you out for social profiling, then hopefully they’ll see something that prioritises you as an ideal candidate.
In some ways, your online presence is your candidate brand, so make sure it presents you to employers in the best possible light.
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