Online networking is an integral part of today’s job market, with a whopping 89% of job hunters nurturing an online presence of one kind or another, and more than a third of employers using social media in their search for the perfect candidate.
LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, is undoubtedly the most relevant social media site for job hunters and soon-to-be graduates; offering users the chance to create and maintain an evolving online resume, create connections with other professionals (including potential employers) and receive endorsements from peers and colleagues. In simple terms, it is an excellent tool for online networking and enhancing your professional profile by showcasing your skills and experience.
Job hunting website, CareerBuilder.com’s 2015 survey of over 2,000 hiring managers revealed that 65% of employers who use social media sites such as LinkedIn to hire a candidate do so because they want to see if he/she is able to present themselves professionally; 51% do so to find out if a potential employee would fit in with the company culture; and 45% do so to learn more about a candidate’s qualifications and credentials.
“Social media is a primary vehicle of communication today, and because much of that communication is public, it’s no surprise some recruiters and hiring managers are tuning in,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.
However, recruiters don’t just do their research on LinkedIn; other social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ also some under close scrutiny. And a whopping 34% of employers scanning these other sites found content (such as inappropriate photos or evidence of drug taking) that caused them to reject a candidate.
“If you choose to share content publicly on social media, make sure it’s working to your advantage,” Haefner says. “Take down or secure anything that could potentially be viewed by an employer as unprofessional and share content that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way.”
With only 11% of job seekers inactive on social networking websites, it’s no surprise that employers utilise it in their hiring search. But if you are online, it’s imperative you keep it clean, consistent and professional; in other words don’t post anything you wouldn’t be happy for future employers or colleagues to see. For advice on how to create and maintain a top-notch LinkedIn profile to help you stand out from the crowd, take a look at our blog The Importance of LinkedIn.