Social media job search is the new key that unlocks the door to employment in the digital age. Employers today scour social media sites as avidly as they examine resumes before making hiring decisions. Managing your social media job search via your presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter can tip the scales in your favor; and, if the boss likes what he sees, get you a job offer. Employers seem to expect all employees to be social media savvy, regardless of the position. But be warned; your social media presence also has the power to hurt you in your job search. Casual photos of you partying with friends or unfiltered comments Tweeted or posted to your Facebook wall can abruptly terminate your consideration for a job if a potential employer finds them questionable or defensive, remember the InterActive Corp employee that got fired for an insensitive tweet about AIDS in Africa. So, before you start that job or freelance job search, make sure you don’t have anything in your social media accounts that can cause you trouble. This is especially relevant for new college grads with drinking and keg-stand photos, those certainly won’t help you get a job.
In a job survey by career consulting company Lee Hecht Harrison, nearly 50% of job seekers said they use social media daily and 40% of employers said they use information found on social media in their hiring decisions.
Looking for a job in the digital age is like being a movie star bombarded by paparazzi. Nothing you put online should be considered private. With the popularity of social media trumping all other forms of communication, the reality is that everything you, your family or friends post online has the potential to help or hurt your job search. Before you start posting resumes, take a few minutes to research yourself online and see what pops up. Remove any possibly objectionable material from your own social media sites. If something negative appears on the site of a friend or family member, ask them to remove it. When hunting for a job, the fewer surprises the better.
But employers do not examine a job candidate’s social media use merely as an indication of personality and corporate fit. Online competency and fluency in the use of digital media are considered critical job skills today. A broad and professional social media presence makes you more attractive to employers.
To be continued