Why your social media presence is important in your job hunt
If you are job hunting you will often be told that a good social media presence is important, but why?
Quite simply, the game has changed. Previously, successful job hunting has been about who you know or getting your application in front of as many people as possible – but now you have to do a little more. Whilst it is true that multiple job offers are becoming more common again, employers are still wary and so want to be sure they have the best possible candidate.
So how do they know who the best candidate will be? Of course CVs and interviews play a very important role in the process, but it is also about the bigger picture.
- Is the person truly knowledgeable about the required skill set?
- Do they have a passion for the skill set?
- What is their personality really like?
A couple of hours meeting someone, particularly in the artificial setting of an interview, can never give a complete view and answers to all of these tricky questions. And previously companies used references to eliminate some of that risk, but now, as ex-employers are reluctant to give accurate and detailed references for fear of being sued, employers are turning to social media to fill this gap.
If you had two candidates who are equally matched, at least at interview, how would you decide between them?
By looking at their LinkedIn and Twitter feeds you can see one candidate posts a lot about the industry, and relevant technologies. The same candidate is a member of relevant community groups, regularly engages with them and even better, they seem to know what they are talking about! The personal elements of their feed shows someone who seems to fit into your company values and morals.
On the other hand, the second candidate may well be equally skilled and came across as passionate at interview but on browsing LinkedIn you find an incomplete profile. Worse still, on other sites you find a feed full of swearing and some ‘interesting’ photos.
Which of the two candidates would you choose?
One huge advantage of this shift from reference to social media is that for the first time, candidates have some control over what their new potential employer is seeing. In some cases, companies are even using these social sites to find candidates when they have roles available. These searches are largely based on keyword searches, so it is more important than ever to make sure your profile is well-optimised and complete, or you could be missing out on some fantastic roles.
When it comes to technical roles, more and more of our clients are using sites like Github and Stack Overflow, to get an idea of technical competence before interviewing candidates. In fact, some of them have incorporated these sites into their interview process! If you are a Developer and have contributed to a number of projects on Github or Stack Overflow, then that will strengthen your application and could secure you an interview. Equally, if you talk about being passionate about tech on your CV, but have never contributed to projects on these sites in your own time, it can raise questions.
If you’re not sure how to get your social media presence in order why not check out our LinkedIn page or contact us for more advice and information to make your profiles visible.
Good luck with the job hunting!
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