As very few companies are currently posting job adverts, job seekers see their chances for getting recruited dwindling day by day. But don’t forget that a high proportion of all available jobs are never advertised. So if you’d like to increase your chances of being found as one of those “passive” job seekers, take a closer look at your social network online profiles.
Millions of people regularly use social networking websites to interact, connect and share. Many of these users are job seekers at the same time. While looking for a job may not be the main reason you’re logging into your networking site, you can easily adopt a few smart strategies that will support your search.
Many businesses have discovered that potential new staff and top talents could be there in their online communities waiting to be employed. According to a survey from CareerBuilder.co.uk, 27 per cent of employers in the UK said they either currently use social networking sites to research potential job candidates or plan to start. Specifically, 15 per cent of employers said they currently screen potential employees on social networking sites.
Whether you prefer Facebook, MySpace, Bebo or Twitter as your social networking platform, all of them can be helpful to your job search. There are just a few Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind that will help you enhance your chances of landing a job through social networking.
Here are some tips to favourably position yourself and to connect with contacts who can be helpful to expedite your job search:
1. Clean up digital dirt. Use your online profile to showcase your skills and experience — not your private life. Make sure to remove pictures, content and links that can send the wrong message to a potential employer before you start your job search.
2. Give it a name. Your name on any social network should be your real name. This will help you keeping a clean and serious image.
3. Be discreet. Consider setting your profile to “private”, so only friends of your choosing can view it. Since you can’t control what other people say on your site, you may also want to use the “block comments” feature.
4. Join groups selectively. While joining a group with a fun or silly name may seem harmless, it may not give the best impression to a hiring manager. Also be selective about who you accept as “friends”. Rather try to find job and career related groups.
5. Ensure employers can find you. Employers often seek passive candidates through different channels. Make sure your profile highlights your skills and strengths and is accessible to potential employers. Update your profile regularly with specific accomplishments, inside and outside of work.
6. Keep it simple. Create a simple profile that doesn’t reveal too much of your private life, but puts emphasis on your achievements. Post content relevant to your job search or career.
7. Be careful. Don’t post anything on your site or your “friends” sites you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see. Derogatory comments, revealing or risqué photos, foul language and lewd jokes all will be viewed as a reflection of your character.
8. Be proactive. Don’t just sit and wait with your brushed-up profile until you get contacted. Research contacts who are employed at companies you might be interested in and try to get in touch with them. Some may not be interested, but for the most part, people will be open to talk. Another good way to connect with people at interesting employers is by joining company groups.