In a troubled job market, finding a new job can be difficult. But in spite of these unsettling times, some people have found employment bliss through social media sites. For other job seekers, social media may be harming their job search instead of helping it, as I’ve discussed before.
According to a Jobvite.com survey conducted in 2012, 92% of recruiters used or planned to use social media for recruiting. Since many employers are turning to social media to help find suitable candidates and research job applicants, it's important that this latest method of employment networking doesn’t become an obstacle in your job search.
Here are ways social media may be hurting your job search:
1. You Aren’t Registered On Any Social Media Sites
There may be several reasons why you don't have a social media account in 2013.
You're not good with using technology.
You're an aging job seeker and not accustomed to this new way of networking.
You don't like the concept of social media sites and its disadvantages.
While these may be good reasons for not having a social media account, the fact that you don't have one may be doing you more harm in your job search than you realize. If you aren’t technically oriented, ask a family member or friend to help you set up an account and show you how to keep it updated.
It's understandable that you may be part of a group of people who aren’t accustomed to this new type of networking, or maybe you prefer not to take part in it, but you can learn about social media sites and its advantages on the web or from family members. You don't have to use social media for personal reasons, simply as an aid to help you find a new job.
2. You Aren’t Actively Using Your Social Networking Site
If you have a social media account but don't actively use it, you may be missing out on job opportunities. Each social media site has its own unique process for how information is posted, but they all have one thing in common: connections. Through social networking, you can connect with employers and people who are connected to companies that you’d like to work for. Lots of connections mean lots of opportunities, but don't overdo it and connect with everybody.
You should regularly search for jobs through social media sites. Obtain recommendations from people you’ve worked with to make your profile stand out. On a regular basis, send out invites to people that would benefit you and your job search. An out-of-date social media profile can imply to recruiters that you’re not very technically savvy or experienced in the latest social skills.
3. Your Profile Needs To Be Overhauled
Does your social media site need a major overhaul? If you have an active profile, it may have information or a photo that needs to be changed. Anything you don't want employers to see and read should be removed immediately from your social media profile. Make sure your site always looks professional by posting information and photos that you not only would want employers to see, but which will impress them as well.
Detailed documents like federal resumes can easily be incorporated into the work history section of your profile. Incomplete profiles can also be detrimental. According to the professional social media site, LinkedIn, people with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to get opportunities through the site. Also, remove any negative comments about former employers or managers.
Keep your profile regularly updated with related key words, achievements and experiences to the type of job you’re seeking so you’re in a good position to be noticed by employers and recruiters. Upload recent photos that are appropriate and less than two years old. If you’re not on professional sites like LinkedIn or BeKnown yet, now is the time. These social media sites are designed with the professional in mind so it's easier to keep your profile that way.
4. TMI (Too Much Information)
If you’re actively networking to find a job, whatever you post on your profile can be seen by hundreds or even thousands of people, so you want it to look good at all times. Giving TMI (too much information) is another way to harm your job search.
It's not the time to post information that may be considered violent or offensive. Keep a level of discreetness on your social media site by using the privacy features, but know that employers can still see information about you at any time.
Always be thoughtful when you post future information on your social media site. When interacting with your connections, make sure your conversations are respectful and stay away from debatable topics. If you feel that your professional social networking is interfering with your ability to have fun online, have two accounts: one for professional reasons and the other for personal.