How critical is social media to getting hired?

Decades ago, it was a time-consuming, tedious process to perform a background check on candidates. Today prospective employers have it easy. With social media, recruitment firms and employers can now perform an online background check on applicants in mere minutes. With a few clicks of a mouse or trackpad, they can review your online profiles, blogs, comments and any other aspects of your digital footprint.

In other words, social media can make or break your chances of getting hired in the digital age. Knowing this, how can you best leverage it? Here are some guidelines to follow on your job hunt.

Fully utilize LinkedIn’s profile editing features
Recruitment firms and employers love LinkedIn, as it offers them a quick and easy way to find potential candidates. How can you take advantage? Avoid using your LinkedIn account as simply a rehash of your CV. Instead, utilize the platform’s profile editing features to add endorsements and recommendations from colleagues, write articles to demonstrate your expertise, and showcase samples of your work using LinkedIn’s add media feature. With that said, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, mention your major selling points and strengths and (most importantly) “Let recruiters know that you’re open” to new opportunities by switching on the feature in the Career Interests section of your dashboard. When you turn on this function, be as clear as you can about the type of job you’re after, the location you want to work, and when you’re looking to start.

Mind your online image
Every post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Line or other social media platform leaves behind a digital footprint, revealing details about your personality. And while it may be fun to share wild party pictures of yourself, or relieving to vent about relationship dramas to the world, these types of posts will diminish the effect of any outstanding CV achievements. To ensure you display a professional image, adjust your social media privacy settings and/or remove any inappropriate pictures, political rants or other content that may portray you in a negative light.

Leverage the internet’s wealth of public information
While it can be a bit worrying to know most employers check your social media profiles, realize you can get background info on them too. Remember, reputation is a two-way street. We highly recommended that you evaluate your potential employer as much as they’re evaluating you. Lucky for candidates, sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Glassdoor have a wealth of public, insider information on many companies. You can read reviews and ratings from past employees that reveal how a company operates, the average salary and benefits, and the general happiness of staff members. All this will give you a clearer picture of what you’re getting yourself into.

Now that you understand the impact of social media on your job hunt, what are you waiting for? Adjust your social media profiles to reflect a professional image, research your potential employer’s reputation, and start applying. And if you’re looking for another avenue to find opportunities, don’t forget to check our job board or email us your CV.