How the job search process is changing with social media
The first major change to the traditional job search process occurred with the advent of the internet. Job seekers no longer had to personally hand-in or physically mail-in their resume and cover letter; the documents could be submitted with the simple click of a button.
Along with the internet, soon came social media. This phenomenon has now put us on the brink of the second major change to hit the job search process.
Social media brought about a wave of change as networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram gained massive popularity. What you may not realize, is that social media has changed the way hiring managers choose who they hire.
One of the most obvious changes that should sprout to your mind is the role that LinkedIn now plays in the job search process. Many jobs are only posted on the LinkedIn job board, so if you’re not a member, you will never have the chance to apply.
Secondly, recruiters are on LinkedIn daily to source potential candidates. Again, if you’re not a member, that’s another opportunity that you’ll never see.
Finally, many hiring managers will search for your LinkedIn profile after they receive your resume. If they can’t find you, it’s not necessarily the end of the road for you. However, if they do find you and share many connections with your professional network, then LinkedIn just gave you an edge over your competition.
Social Media Monitoring
Keeping a profile on LinkedIn is almost always more helpful to your career than it is detrimental, but the same cannot be said for networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Now that almost every applicant for a position has their own personal space on the World Wide Web, hiring managers are intrigued to find out what’s beyond your resume with a simple Google search.
Without the right privacy settings, one Google search of your name will expose your personal life to the hiring manager. This is why you should really treat all your social networks the way you treat LinkedIn – keep it professional.
Even if you use a pseudonym or keep your privacy settings tight, many interviewers have asked candidates to log-in into their Facebook account while in the interview setting. Though this practice is highly controversial, and an invasion of privacy, how many people would say no and risk losing the job they want so dearly? This is an especially common practice for professions such as teachers, police officers and other public figures.
Social Media Skills
Though it seems like you may be safer by avoiding the social media phenomenon, the neglect of social media can also hurt your job search. Many professions in the fields of marketing, advertising, media, communications, information technology, design, and business development (to name a few) highly value a candidate’s knowledge and ability to use various social media platforms.
Social media skills are now a common requirement in job postings within those fields, and these skills are seen as a benefit to the growth of the company as a whole.
So this is what it comes down to, social media is just like the internet – you must embrace it, or you’ll get left behind. With that said – be smart! Remember that everything you post can end up in the hands of a future hiring manager, so ensure that you remain professional.