Many employers have begun using social-media networks to recruit job candidates, and check potential employee's online reputation, a trend where hiring managers contact individuals who appear to have the right stuff.
A 2012 survey performed by JobVite revealed some interesting statistics about online recruiting. Ninety-three percent of hiring managers and recruiters have used LinkedIn during a recruiting mission, with Facebook at 66 percent and Twitter at 54 percent. As a premier networking site for professionals, LinkedIn is now considered to be a vital recruiting tool.
Show Creative Flair in Your Content
Job candidates with a social-media presence show off their personality – but within limits. Be genuine and upfront with your audience so that you establish a trusted voice. Writing Facebook status updates, tweets and LinkedIn posts about your favorite books and author might strike a chord - although personalized messages should be tactful and respectful to all parties.
Provide Valuable Insight to Your Audience
Social-media sites give you valuable knowledge into the market – and allow you to share that knowledge with a wide swath of influential industry professionals. If you see a potential area of improvement in a particular field, do something. Offer your expertise to the companies in this field so that they may improve their operations. It could just lead to permanent employment. If you provide feedback through online firms and polls, be careful of which ones you choose. The goal is to convince hiring authorities and managers to contact you and begin a professional relationship.
Develop Relationships with Industry Influencers
In order to grow your network – Facebook friends, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, you must represent yourself as a key source of information. The content you offer should be educational or entertaining. Your network is just as valuable as a cover letter or reviews. It’s not exactly about who you know, but about what resources are accessible to you.
Ideally your network should give you convenient access to companies, as well as prospective job candidates. Another competitive advantage is to list your location in social-media profiles. Many recruiters will filter users by city through LinkedIn, but the capability exists on Facebook and Twitter, too.
Treat Social-Media Profiles Like a Resume
As employers discover new ways to examine and connect with prospective employees on social media, the tried-and-true modes of communication have become less important. LinkedIn profiles serve as online resumes, and the networking site allows users to apply for jobs. The traditional cover letter and resume will likely be replaced in the future by social-media profiles, online portfolios and other interactive digital content. These elements will showcase a prospective employee’s history in a professional manner.
Social-media hiring practices also means that the employer must sell job seekers on the particular position and their entire operation. Major companies are beginning to use their social-media accounts to get a glimpse of their business operations.
The key to finding a new job is being authentic and personable at all times. No employer wants to bring on a candidate who will inundate an online audience with meaningless information. When you slowly but surely develop your influence and present content that matters to you, it might attract the interest of your next employer.
Blake Jonathan Boldt is a content strategist for Reputation Advocate. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and digital media outlets.