Social media is one of those rare inventions that appears to have changed the world almost literally over night. Not even a decade ago, the very idea that we would all be so flippant with our most personal information was preposterous but now in 2013 we don’t even think twice about it. Social networking has changed (for better or worse) the way we socialise, the way we organise our personal lives and even our work lives. Social media even has a significant hand to play now in the job searching market, a market that is currently in a serious state of chaos as demand far outweighs supply. With unemployment at an all time high and the amount of people looking for work surpassing the amount of jobs available, it’s more important than ever to stand out from competition and use all the possible tools at our disposal.
- It is estimated that in 2013, around 16% of ex-jobseekers credit social media with helping them find their job. This is up 5% from 2012 and will no doubt only continue to rise going into 2014. That makes it the sixth most popular platform from which to search for a job with Facebook, Twitter and (of course) LinkedIn coming out on top as the top rated sites.
- When asked, 94% of recruiters admitted that they either currently use or were planning to start implementing social media into their recruitment strategies and 78% have hired candidates they found through social media.
- The user base on most major social media sites is extraordinary and continues to grow on a daily basis so if you’re in the market for a job, the net that you’re casting could not possibly be any wider!
- Recruiters are more likely to hire somebody that they think they have ‘sussed out’ and it’s almost impossible to really get to know anyone in the context of an interview or conventional CV. By using social media, recruiters are privy to all of their potential hires interests and personality quirks.
- LinkedIn is a social media site solely geared towards professionals and is a peerless framework through which jobseekers and recruiters alike can list their CV’s, previous jobs and skills. Better yet, other LinkedIn users can ‘endorse’ your skills and the more endorsements you receive, the more intriguing your profile will appear.
- Twitter and Facebook might traditionally been seen as more ‘personal’ platforms, they are great platforms through which to reach out to employers and recruiters on a personal level. Twitter is especially valuable as it allows users to engage in industry conversations through hashtags and @’s, which can open up serious networking opportunities.
- The old adage ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is more true now than it ever has been and by expanding your group of contacts through social media, you’ll get to know more people in the industry and open up more opportunities for yourself.
- Recruiters are more likely to hire an employee that is ‘technologically savvy’ and by using social media to your advantage, you’ll be proving that you are just that.
- When it was first envisioned, sites such as Facebook and Twitter were designed to be used purely for personal reasons. To share plans, thoughts and feelings with friends, not potential employees. As such, there is more than likely content on your social media profiles that you might not want any potential employers to see. Having to temper the content on our social media profiles because of who may or may not be viewing them is surely not ideal.
- There is a school of thought that believes personal and professional lives should be kept strictly private. If you adhere to this reasoning then the idea of having potential employers ‘snooping’ around through your personal profile obviously might not sit well with you and rightly so. Of course, it is possible to create separate Twitter and Facebook accounts (one each for your personal and professional lives) but it would be far too easy to get the two confused.
- Having to constantly monitor your online reputation is just another thing that you really shouldn’t have to worry about in a perfect world. Social media also makes researching companies and recruiters incredibly easy but because everybody else will be using the same tools, the advantages mean very little.
Of course networking has always been used as a means through which people search for jobs and search for employees, the only real difference now is that making those connections is so much easier. It’s a bold new professional world out there, a world that social media is changing (largely) for the better.
This article was written in collaboration with de Poel, leading providers of temporary staffing solutions in the UK. All statistics gleamed from – http://www.jobisjob.co.uk/blog/2013/09/social-media-statistics/