Whether you like it or not, recruiters are looking at your online social profiles.
While you may see this as a threat, it actually creates a number of opportunities for developing and disseminating your personal brand. But what do you need to know to make sure your social media use is placing you in the yes pile instead of landing you another no?
"[Social media enables] employers to get a glimpse of who candidates are outside the confines of a resume or cover letter."
How many employers are social media screening?
A study by Harris Poll and CareerBuilder found that six out of every 10 employers will take to the internet to find out more about their applicants. Up from only 11 per cent a decade ago, this tool has clearly become cemented as part of the selection artillery, suggested Chief Human Resources Officer of CareerBuilder Rosemary Haefner.
"Tools such as Facebook and Twitter enable employers to get a glimpse of who candidates are outside the confines of a resume or cover letter," said Ms Haefner. "With more and more people using social media, it's not unusual to see the usage for recruitment to grow as well."
What are employers looking for in online profiles?
We're often told to be extremely careful with the content we put online as it can stick around forever. Employers may run into unbecoming content and it could throw your chances out the window, but this isn't often happening.
According to a study from Sara Sameen and Samia Cornelius, LinkedIn is by far the most common site used for social screening (79.8 per cent) followed by Facebook at 35.9 per cent. Most commonly, employers will check out candidates' online personas at the point of receiving their initial application, but they aren't necessarily looking for negatives. Only 21 per cent of employers are actually looking for a reason not to hire you, whereas an overwhelming 60 per cent are actually looking for information that supports your qualifications, such as an organisational fit and good communication skills.
What content should you focus on?
References posted by others is a big driver of a positive social screening assessment. However, according to Co-founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, it is underused by candidates.
"When someone is looking at your profile, and is looking to present you with an opportunity, they are going to see that you are someone they want to talk to," Hoffman says. "[LinkedIn recommendations are] not just you saying that you're good at something – other people are saying it, too."
If you need some advice on how to enhance your personal brand by using social media strategically, get in touch with the helpful team at Flexi Personnel today and increase your chances of landing your perfect job today.