Social media sites may be fun for staying in touch with friends or the hottest news and gossip, but did you know employers are using to tools to gather your information from social media profiles? Software like Talent bin, Intello, Dice, and Openweb aggregate information about users via their social media profiles. This information is used by employers to help them assess candidates and inform their hiring decisions.
While this step in the hiring process may feel too close for comfort, the good news is you have control over the information you make available online and can control and manage your online image. Social media is a way to differentiate yourself as a job seeker, and if managed correctly, can help you in the hiring process. Having well-developed social media profiles is essential for visibility as a professional, and can give insight about what kind of worker and personality you’d be in the company.
So how can you put forth a unique and authentic message about who you are? According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 19 percent of hiring managers say they found something that has caused them to extend a job offer. Top mentions include:
- Candidate conveyed a professional image — 57%
- Got a good feel for candidate’s personality — 50%
- Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests — 50%
- Candidate’s background information supported professional qualifications — 49%
- Candidate was creative — 46%
- Great communication skills — 43%
- Other people posted great references about the candidate — 38%
You can stay ahead of the game and utilize social media in your job search in these three steps:
- Create a professional, attractive message about the unique value you contribute to your industry. Do an internal assessment of your top strengths, accomplishments and passions. Answer the question, “What problem do I solve with my unique strengths?” Craft a unique message that reflects who you are and how you want to contribute to your target industry.
- Use this crafted message to complete your social media profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, etc.). Remember to include a professional photo.
- Use social media as a platform to have meaningful public exchanges and give positive insight into who you are and what you are passionate about. Take the time to become familiar with social media, as it’s here to stay. Share information, links and opinions you think will be interesting or valuable to others in your desired field.
And remember — anything that you wouldn’t want your boss to see should be safely hidden under secure privacy settings. Most social media sites let you view your profile or online presence through different settings. Adjust these settings to reflect how open you want to be with strangers and potential employers, and anything unsavory should be hidden or removed.