Social Media and Recruitment
Social Media has quickly become the place to find job vacancies, research your prospective business or employers and present yourself professionally to the world. As a recruitment tool, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all play their roles in the job market. Here’s what you need to know before heading down the path of social media for recruitment.
When I was at university, the first time, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Skype and Podcasting were in their infancy. While I worked away on getting a degree back in 2001 the job I do today didn’t even exist.
It was only when I graduated, with the second degree, and started volunteering in art galleries in Edinburgh that a few of us saw the potential for social media as a marketing tool. In fact, not once did my marketing lecturer mention social media as a viable marketing tactic. Things have come a long way, and that was only back in 2008.
Social Media hasn’t just had a major impact on my career, it has had, and will continue to have a huge impact on everyone’s career. Today I was invited along to the University of the Highlands and Islands to speak to students about how they can use social media post-graduation. It was all very digital and modern, as we presented via video conference call to various groups of students across the North of Scotland.
While the information in the presentation is geared towards the student population of the Highlands and Islands, in all truth this applies to everyone, in or out of the job market, for those seeking a career change into social media or for budding business entrepreneurs.
Using Social Media to Find Work
LinkedIn has become the recruitment tool for the 21st century, earlier this year the platform reached 20 million members in the UK alone (58% of the workforce). Even James Caan, of Dragon’s Den fame, has acknowledged that the professional social network has ‘absolutely transformed’ the recruitment industry.
If you’re new to LinkedIn or are on a job hunt, check out the jobs tab. LinkedIn jobs enables you to set preferences for jobs you’d be interested in, makes recommendations for jobs that you might be suitable for, lets you set up job alerts and apply for jobs direct.
Of course, this tool is only going to work to your benefit if you’ve got a decent LinkedIn profile, what is in essence, your Virtual CV. Whether you are looking for work, are presenting yourself and the business you work for on LinkedIn or are a freelancer using LinkedIn to find clients, first and foremost you need to check your profiles.
Researching Your Ideal Employer
Social Media can be extremely useful for people wanting to research and find out more about potential businesses and employers they’d like to work for.
If you’re applying for a vacancy you should find all of the prospective businesses digital profiles from LinkedIn to Twitter, Instagram to YouTube, Slideshare to Vines:
- What are they using,
- What are they saying,
- What brand position are they communicating,
- What appears to be important to them,
- Who are they, what do they like, what don’t they like?
Social Media has given prospective job applicants more access to a business than any other generation before them – so take advantage of it.
Stand Out and Present Your Expertise
Of course, you don’t have to go running around after a business or employer, why not get them to chase after you.
With so many self-publishing digital tools available to you, at no (or very little) cash cost, you can start to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, show off your skills, your passion, your attention to detail, your commitment and perseverance, your knowledge about the sector and your industry.
Start by tweeting, blogging, Facebooking and Instagramming and engage with your prospective industry:
- Ask questions to these businesses
- Offer interesting new angles on a topic
- Share insights not covered
- Connect with the thought leaders in your industry
Be part of the conversation to make yourself both visible, knowledgeable and worthwhile investigating.
Check Your Digital Footprint
Have you googled yourself lately?
This is one of the best ways to find out how you’ve been representing yourself online. If your search results don’t reflect the image a potential employer would like to see, then you need to address this asap.
How do your social profiles look from the outside? If you haven’t logged out of your Facebook account and then searched for yourself to see what your profile looks like from a stranger’s point of view, then there’s another task for you this afternoon.
The point of this task is to see just how private your personal accounts are, it’s important to remember that when you update your profile and cover photos on Facebook, that these are always public changes, not private – so anyone who searches for you, even if you’re not connected, will see this content.
More and more employers are becoming savvy to the ways of social media, and they will be looking for your personal profiles once your CV hits their desks. And why wouldn’t they? Every employer wants the best person for the job and if they don’t like what they see from your social media presence, that will more than likely mar your chances of an interview.
My advice when using your personal social media – engage brain before thumbs.