As the economy recovers, corporations are planning their strategy for adding new employees to the payroll, albeit slowly. As they hunt for the best possible candidates, they must consider the cost and the return on investment for each tool they use to find the most qualified workers.
In terms of cost effective candidate sourcing, more and more firms are looking to social media to tap into the passive candidate pool. Sites liked LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and VisualCV are fast becoming great resources for identifying top talent.
According to a 2010 report by Jobvite, a recruiting software firm based out of Northern California, social networks lead all other recruiting channels for planned investment by employers as the economy recovers.
The shift towards social media for staffing is a trend that is not likely to stop any time soon. What can you do as a candidate to keep your social presence up to speed?
1. Be sure your LinkedIn profile is an up-to-date and accurate reflection of you. It should be less complex than a résumé, but still offer a substantial amount of information regarding your strengths and capabilities. Make sure there is a good photo of you as well.
2. Beware of the Facebook trap. While Facebook is predominantly used for personal social communication, prospective employers often judge candidates by what is on their Facebook page.
If you have a picture of yourself drunk as a skunk standing outside of a nightclub in a low cut blouse with trashy earrings, better to leave that one off! Also, don’t use profanity in your posts! Bottom line: be discerning about what you do and don’t include on your Facebook page.
Prospective employers are online – all the time, in fact. I heard from one client that the company that hired him had a team of people focused on scouring LinkedIn and Facebook. Your image should be as pristine as a newborn baby.
3. The same caution goes for Twitter. Providing constant tweets on your daily whereabouts can come back to bite you. Imagine if someone who is thinking of hiring you sees that you are tweeting all day long while at work. What sort of message does this send?
4. Consider a VisualCV. VisualCV.com is a newer social media site that specifically caters to job seekers and corporate recruiters. It is a great place to showcase career successes using the latest social media technology.
5. You Tube is another avenue for social media exposure. A well done video can showcase your professional accomplishments and give potential employers a real understanding of your style and business acumen. Add your video to your VisualCV and place a link at the bottom of your email footer for even more exposure.
The effective use of social media can and will bolster your career prospects; take advantage of what new technology has to offer. Be cautious about putting anything on the web that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer or your current employer to see. While social media is an excellent medium for expanding your reach, it has to be used wisely.
This article is a post by Debra Wheatman of Careers Done Write for the January 2011 Career Collective, where professionals collaborate to provide guidance for job seekers and careerists.
Take a look at my colleagues’ answers to this month’s question:
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.