In a 2014 survey, Jobvite learned that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media to support their recruiting efforts. Here’s the breakdown, by social media network:
Google +: 21%
- Choose the social media platforms that you and prospective employers are most likely to use. Choose 2 or 3, and focus on those. Don’t worry about trying to be on every social media platform.
- Fill out your entire profile, whether on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Use a professional headshot and link to your website (see #3), online profile, portfolio, or blog. Use hashtags where appropriate.
- Make sure you are easy to find online. Start with a central hub – a personal website, landing page or blog – and link to your social media accounts from there.
- Add your professional social media accounts to your résumé and cover letter. We recommend always putting your LinkedIn address on your résumé, and your other accounts if professionally based and relevant to the positions you are seeking.
- When choosing a name or “handle,” select something that makes you easy to identify. For example, on Twitter, use your real name. If your name is very common or has been used already, add your middle initial or some other identifying characteristic. Examples: @JoeRAnderson @DocJoeSmith @DianaRecruiter
- Everything you share should be consistent with your personal brand. Post things that are useful and shareable. For more on personal branding, see our Aug. 1, 2015 post.
- Prospective employers are using social media more often to learn more about job candidates. They will look at your profiles and posts to get a sense for your communication style (including your use of profanity), your work history and education, industry knowledge, social behavior (including alcohol and drug use), and how you spend your personal time.
- View social media channels as platforms for conversation and developing relationships, not just places for self-promotion.
- Post useful information on social media to position yourself as a subject matter expert in your field, including links to posts or articles you’ve written, relevant news, etc. Add relevant images (free stock photos are great for this!) to draw more interest.
- Retweet, share and repost items that are relevant to your industry. This shows that you are interested in the content others post.
- Post quotes that are meaningful to you as long as they are consistent with your personal brand, and err on the side of professionalism.
- Don’t use social media channels as a place to directly communicate with prospective employers about available positions, unless they reach out to you first. It is impersonal and you are probably not going to reach the desired person directly anyway. Big companies, in particular, have social media teams fielding inquiries. Instead, communicate and follow-up in a more traditional way – snail mail, phone or email. (Thanks to The Muse for this advice!)
- Post regularly. With tools like Buffer and HootSuite, you can schedule posts in advance.
- Check your accounts frequently. Check for messages, shares and other communication. For example, on Twitter, thank people for following you, for retweeting your tweets, and for “favoriting” (hearts now instead of stars) their tweets consistently. Daily is ideal, but every few days or weekly works is more manageable.
- Respond timely. This is particularly true of LinkedIn which has an intricate set of notifications. Turn on message alerts and connection requests, so you can respond to them promptly, or make a habit of logging in daily. Since this is the top social media network for recruiters, you want to be sure you respond promptly.
This is a big topic that we’ll be covering again, so check back for future posts, or sign up for our free email list. In the meantime, good luck with your job search!
Thanks for reading!
Diana Albertson, CEO