Utilising Social Media – The 21st Century Recruitment Tool

Posted on Oct 23 2013 - 12:48am by Chris Parker


In a world that thrives on the use of the internet and is buzzing with a variety of social media platforms that allow you to chat, sell, buy and over share, is it any surprise that it is becoming increasingly common to also use social media to job search?

While you can find a wealth of employment related support services online, it is important to utilise the other resources that are also widely available to you. Social media is a primary vehicle of communication today, and with so much information well categorised and made public, it’s the obvious place for recruiters, employers and job hunters alike to go to find exactly what they’re looking for.

89% of job seekers use social media sites daily to research company profiles, while two out of five companies will check a possible candidate’s online profile before making their final decision. This means  you must know how to use your social media accounts to their best abilities, ensuring that profiles are up to date and professional, and that when it comes to the search, you know what you’re looking for.

If your profile is public, make sure it’s professional

The good news is, when companies browse your social media profile, they’re not (just) looking for dirt on you; they’re looking for things that could work to your advantage. Whether or not you would fit in with their company culture, if your background supports your qualifications and, in some cases, to read references, are all reasons why an employee would search your profile, so it can be beneficial for you to keep your profile open. However, it is imperative that if your profile is not private, it must be professional.

This does not mean that you should focus on hiding or removing content that might be deemed inappropriate, but rather that you should work on building a strong social network and create online profiles that represent your skills and experience. If you’re silent or invisible online, it could be a disadvantage. Engaging more on social media will increase your searchability and popularity is key. Tweet articles of interest, join LinkedIn groups you find inspiring and post intelligent opinions on your Facebook page. 29% of the employers who scan social media profiles said what they have found has caused them to hire the candidate.

Search, search, search

Don’t spend all of your time assuring your profiles are ready to be browsed by potential employers and forget that you can search them too. By searching companies or employers, you can get an understanding of the type of employee they are looking to hire, enabling you to know what to share or hide, and also giving you an idea or where conversation in an interview could lead and how you could tailor your cover letter.

You can also improve your odds of finding a job online by looking past the well-known job sites and searching for jobs on company Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and conducting either a general or specific search on LinkedIn. Often, jobs may be released or talked about on social media long before they are ever advertised on job sites or recruiters, and finding your ideal role ahead of other candidates will make a good impression.

If you’re not as tech savvy as you’d like to be, there are other measures that you can take to give you the employability factor.

Be contactable

One of the most essential traits in a job candidate, according to recruiters, is the ability to be contacted at all times. Recruiters will look to inform their clients – either by phone or by email – of impending meetings or even interviews. If their clients are unresponsive, however, the recruiters are likely to be less than impressed, as an interview no-show will potentially damage the reputation of a recruitment agency itself. Contactability is also important from an employer’s perspective, and employers will not chase you for an interview or job offer if you fail to respond promptly and eagerly.

Be honest

There is no such thing as a white lie when it comes to your career. Recruiters hate nothing more than candidates who massage the truth, and again, an interviewee who is found to have lied on their CV or during the application process will potentially tarnish the reputation of the recruiters themselves. You need to be honest and upfront not only with the recruiters, but with your potential employers, too. Any lies or exaggerations will inevitably be found out before too long, and dishonest could easily cost you the job on offer.

Be confident

Recruiters often find that the best interviewees are those who are confident and happy to tackle  any potential challenge set before them. Going into an interview with the right attitude and being prepared to make an effort with any job you’re sent for will earn you the respect of the recruiter and also give you a better chance with the employers themselves.

Be thorough

Recruiters look for candidates who take the application process seriously. It’s your life after all, so every potential job should be thoroughly researched in advance of the interview itself. If you turn up for an interview without much idea of what the job entails, you’ll have little or no chance of walking away with a job offer. If you arrive armed with pertinent questions and insightful answers, however, you’ll wind up with a job offer in no time.

Have a flawless CV

It’s the job of a recruitment agency to make you out to be an excellent candidate and an encouraging prospect for any potential employer, but they can only work with the raw materials you give them. When you hand over your CV to a recruiter, they’ll give it a read-through in order to determine whether or not it’s in need of an edit. If your CV doesn’t put across the right information and sell your key skills and characteristics or is full of spelling and grammar errors, the recruiter – and by association any employers – will be less than impressed.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Hey Paul Studios

About the Author

Chris Parker is Director at Renovo, one of the UK’s leading specialists in outplacement and career transition.