Why do people keep on about the importance of social media for job hunters?
If you are job hunting you will often be told that a good social media presence is important, but why? Quite simply, the game changed. Previously, successful job hunting has been about who you know or getting your application in front of as many people as possible. Now you have to do 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. That means people with the right skills and a genuine interest in the job.
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. That is why references used to be so helpful but a lot of companies are now reluctant to give accurate and detailed references for fear of being sued.
Social media is able to fill that gap but, unlike references, you can control what the results are. If you had two candidates who are equally matched, at least at interview, how do you decide between the two? Looking on their LinkedIn or Twitter feeds you see one candidate posts a lot about the industry and relevant technologies. They’ve joined relevant groups and regularly engage with them. They seem to know what they are talking about. Their G+ profile leads you to a blog or an article they have written that’s highly relevant to the job role. The personal elements of their feed show someone who seems to fit in with your team well.
The other person may well be equally skilled/passionate etc but their LinkedIn profile is incomplete. Worse still, on other sites you find a feed full of swearing and some “interesting” photos. Which of the two would you choose?
There is another big plus to a social media presence. More agencies and hiring managers are now using social media as a way to find candidates. These searches will largely be based on keyword searches. Put quite simply, if you don’t have fully completed profiles which spell out your skills, people will not find you and you could be missing out on some fantastic roles.
Victoria Watkins is Office Manager here at Corriculo Ltd. After working as a Recruitment Consultant for 5 years she moved to Office Management for an IT consultancy 6 years ago. Victoria was one of the first members of our team and deals with all of our administration and accounts. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+
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