Studies show that approximately one-third of employers and more than 90 percent of recruiters use social media sites to check out potential job candidates.
So, as everyone knows, putting inappropriate or offensive words and images on your sites could hurt your chances of getting a job. But could not having a presence on social networking sites thwart your employment prospects?
The answer, according to several recruiters and career coaches, is yes.
“When there is a limited on-line fingerprint, it raises questions about transparency,” says Roy Cohen, a career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” “What is this person hiding and why?”
“Employers want to hire job seekers who are constantly learning new technologies in business, and social media is arguably the biggest technological change to happen in business in decades,” says Sudy Bharadwaj, co-founder and CEO of Jackalope Jobs.
Here are some other things you might be missing out on by not having a social media presence:
A multi-dimensional presentation of yourself
“When you ignore the power of social media, you miss out on the opportunity to transform a two-dimensional resume into a three-dimensional, multimedia presentation of your professional experience and distinguish yourself from the dozens of others who are applying for the same job,” says Todd William of Reputation Rhino LLC.
“Candidates can highlight personal and professional achievements via social media. Award ceremonies, soccer goals, valedictory speeches all come alive on YouTube. Facebook is an ideal forum to share a vibrant and active social life, identify charitable interests and hobbies.”
Social media provides access to and information about the very individuals you will be interviewing with at your company of choice, he adds.
“Job seekers who aren’t on social media are automatically less likely to be found by those involved in the hiring process who are searching for talent,” says Bharadwaj. “Another way to look at it is that your competition for those job openings is probably more visible that you via social media.”
Tweeting your way into your next job
“Twitter can be used in many ways to promote yourself in your job search,” says Jayme Pretzloff, online marketing director for Minneapolis-based Wixon Jewelers. “Many companies don’t just check your Facebook posts, but want to see who and what you tweet. Especially if you’re going into a business position, they want to see if you’re keeping up on your industry knowledge. It’s essential to follow industry leaders and engage in conversations. This will show that you are dedicated to advancing your knowledge and expertise in your field.”
Connecting with hiring managers
“I recall one instance in the past where I applied for a job and connected with the CEO of the same company on LinkedIn, inquiring as to whether or not anyone had received my resume,” says Anthony Kirlew, founder of AKA Internet Marketing. “Immediately following, I was contacted by the HR department and later had an interview. In another instance, I saw a job show up under the section ‘jobs you may be interested in’ (on LinkedIn) and found value in using the in-mails to connect with the hiring manager. This, too, resulted in an interview.”
Information on companies
“Job seekers should follow the companies you aspire to work for,” says Pretzloff. It’s extremely impressive to a recruiter when they see that you’ve engaged with their company on social sites and shows your dedication to working for them. When you’re in an interview, think of how you can impress the hiring manager by spouting off news about the company that was released within the past couple days… or even hours! Twitter also allows job seekers to follow job search feeds and recruiters in your industry.”