When it comes to recruitment, we all know just how important it is for businesses to market themselves correctly to ensure that they stand out against their competitors and attract the top talent. But what about the role of the job-seeker? Try something. Type your name and location into Google. Do you appear on the first page(s) of the search results? Does the search bring up your Facebook or Twitter account? If you are active on these platforms it should do, which is good since your online presence increases your visibility in the job market. However, just what are you showcasing to the world? Or more importantly, what image of yourself are you portraying to potential employers? It’s funny.
People often think twice before adding their bosses on Facebook. This is usually because they don’t want their employers seeing the array of inappropriate photos taken of them on horrendously drunken nights out in fear that these may ‘tarnish’ their professional image. The irony is, their boss has probably already seen it! A recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder (2014), in which 2,600 hiring managers were interviewed, found that 45% of managers used the internet and social media networking sites to research potential candidates. Surprised? Maybe not. But did you know that your online footprint can actually hinder your chances of getting a job? Approximately 35% of hiring managers interviewed in the survey found ‘eye-brow raising’ content that caused them to pass on a candidate.
The top three reasons for passing on a candidate were:
- They posted provocative/inappropriate photos or information (53%)
- They posted content about drinking or taking drugs
- The candidate bad mouthed a previous employer, co-workers or clients (35%)
So the facts are there – what you post really can have an effect on your job prospects. However, this doesn’t mean you have to start closing down your social media accounts in order to find work. In fact, some industries may be put off if they cannot see evidence of an online presence. The answer is simply this- use social media to your advantage…market yourself! 18% of HR managers interviewed in the survey actually found that content caused them to hire candidate.
The top three reasons for hiring a candidate were:
- The candidate’s personality fit within the organisations (53%)
- Support for the candidates professional qualifications claim (39%)
- The candidate’s creativity (38%)
There are many ways you can market yourself using social media. Start by cleaning up your online presence (i.e. make any embarrassing/inappropriate photo’s/posts private), and then utilise the channels to show employers why you would be the perfect candidate for the job. Having a presence on LinkedIn is almost essential. Here you can create a professional online CV that showcases your past work experience, skills and aspirations. It is a great place to build connections and engage with the industry you are looking to work in. Since employers are increasingly using the platform to source candidates for jobs, as well as to advertise vacancies at the company, you definitely wouldn’t want to miss out! Remember, with job applications at an all-time high, employers can afford to be picky. It is therefore essential for job-seekers to clean up their online presence and marketthemselves as best they can in order to stand out from the crowd and catch the eye of prospective employers.