Monday, August 1, 2011

Social Media and You

 As a job seeker, it would be foolish not to acknowledge the power of social media and how it affects your ability to secure future employment.  With 45% of companies ALWAYS searching the Internet before they consider calling a candidate in for an interview, it is best that you pay attention to the following information with regard to what companies are now doing in order to find suitable candidates.

A recent survey commissioned by Jobvite, a recruiting platform for the social web, reported the following:

  • 89% of companies will recruit via social networks this year
  • 64% of those surveyed will use 2 or more networks for recruiting [40% will use 3 or more - LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Blog? You Tube? ]
  •  78% of those who responded to the survey expect increased competition for talent
  •  35% of those companies who have yet to embrace recruiting via social media will start to do so
  •  58% have successfully hired from social networks in 2010 - 95% report that they have hired through LinkedI

The quality of candidates from a variety of sources can be summarized as follows [N.B. ‘10’ represents candidates of the highest quality]:

  •   8.6 - Referrals

  • 8.2 - Internal Transfers 

  • 7.8 - Direct Sourcing 

  • 7.0 - Social Networking 

  • 6.8 - Corporate Career Websites 

  • 6.4 - 3rd Party Recruiters or Executive Search Firms 

  • 6.4 - Campus Recruiting 

  • 6.1 - Job Boards 

  • 6.1 - Search Engine Optimization

When it comes to managing your social media profile, you should be cognizant of the following:

  1. Quality Matters.  Given that potential employers will be reviewing your social media profile, it behoves you to pay attention to the things you ‘Tweet”, the pictures you post, and the people you choose to socialize with. 
  1. Size matters.  Do you have a large social network?  Has anyone chosen to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn?  Do you have a lot of ‘followers’ on your blog?  How many people have chosen to view your You Tube video  and share the content with their friends?  Hiring managers and recruiters may or may not know what they are even looking for when they search for you on the Internet, but it is absolutely critical that they only find flattering, or at the very least, inoffensive information.
  2. The medium is the message. Just because it is LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or some other newfangled online or mobile-powered platform, the message still carries more weight than the medium. It is not about the platform or the technology; it is and has always been about the message. The technology is just a tool, and just because younger people were the first to use Twitter and Facebook, don't think for a moment that as an older candidate that you can’t effectively use them just as well as anyone else.  Consider becoming more social media savvy as part of your personal commitment to life-long learning.
  3. Social media gurus really do not exist.  When you run across someone positioning himself or herself as a "social media guru" or expert, run for the exit. The reality is that everyone who is working in this field is practicing on the job training.
  4. Social media is 'new' media. No, it isn't. Media is media. At one point or another, newspapers, radio, television and the Internet were considered new forms of media and now the are labelled as "traditional" media. So "new" media does not mean that only "experts" or young hotshots can successfully operate your social media efforts. Nothing replaces knowledge of the basics of marketing, combined with knowledge of your personal goals and the need for authenticity and transparency in your socially laden communications.
  5. You social media presence can be outsourced effectively. Nobody knows you and the qualities and skill set that you bring to the table as well as you do.  Job seekers can and should consider working with a professional, when it comes to creating personal marketing collateral [résumé, cover letter, business cards, e-mail signatures, and social media presence] to set up and implement your social media job search related efforts.  However, when it comes to communicating messages on a daily basis [job searching is a full-time job when you are unemployed], your ‘people’ may not be in the best position to keep you ‘in the face’ of your community of potential employers.

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at