Social media websites are playing an ever-increasing role in the modern job search process. Almost 90% of jobseekers use them on a regular basis, nearly half being active daily, and over a third of employers use them to help evaluate job candidates.
Research conducted by CareerBuilder shows the value that employers place on the social media presence of job candidates. Based on the responses of just over 2,300 hiring managers and human resources professionals surveyed last year, CareerBuilder established that 37% of all employers screen job candidates using their social media profiles. Statistics showed that of these:
The number of recruiters tuning in to social media websites does not surprise Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, as she describes them as ‘a primary vehicle of communication today’. She warns that the figures show that jobseekers with an Internet presence should be careful about what they share publicly. They should remove anything that might be viewed negatively and instead try to use social media to their advantage.
Echoing these sentiments Brad Schepp, co-author of ‘How to find a job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+’, advises that jobseekers should ensure that their online profiles are free of mistakes (spelling, grammatical and factual) and are relevant to the position applied for; and that photographs should present candidates in a positive light. The information should also be consistent across the various websites.
Experts from career and talent consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison agree. Senior vice president Greg Simpson says that it is essential that jobseekers understand how potential employers use the Internet in the recruitment process. Those who have minimal or zero online presence could well be prejudicing their chances of finding employment. Also, those who have a strong Internet presence should focus not only on removing or hiding potentially harmful content but also on building strong social networks and profiles that represent them well.
Lee Hecht Harrison marketing vice president Helene Cavalli adds that simply posting a profile and checking news feeds is not enough. Jobseekers must actively participate in online social networking by taking part in group discussions, sharing expertise and so on. She is encouraged by the number of job seekers using the Internet, as her company encourages them to develop solid social media strategies as part of the job-hunting process. Although it is not the only strategy, it is becoming increasingly important.
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