The trend of using social media as a method for recruitment is driven not by an inherent want from recruiters themselves but rather, via a huge increase in usage by the general populace. The pool of people using social media is ever growing and, although that does bode well for recruiters (especially in a time when relevant job boards are slightly losing their edge,) it can also bode very positively for any switched-on individual looking to secure their next role. In a previous blog, I covered how important using social media is for SME’s, whether these be recruitment organisations or not. In this blog however, I will focus upon social media from the candidates’ perspective.
As mentioned, the emergence of social media has seen a huge rise in the way people connect and communicate. To add weight, even I know from experience that the method of leaving voicemails, emails and even texts are certainly becoming ‘old fashioned’ in the face of the WhatsApps and Facebooks of the world. This is even more so prevalent with the younger generation, of whom, would likely tell you that emails are a thing of the past. With this said then, chances are, if you are looking for a new role, one of the best ways to find it will be on social media itself. Furthermore, if you have applied for a role outside of social media realms, you can almost guarantee that your social media footprint will be closely scrutinised by the employer, leading up to any potential interest that may blossom.
With that in mind then, I would strongly advise spending a little bit of time evaluating your own profiles (across all forms, whether this be Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or wherever.) In our own weird and wonderful ways, I am sure we all hold inner-feelings upon matters, whether these be driven by politics, ethics or merely a matter of opinion. Likes, dislikes, preferences – these are all matters of opinion, and we are all wholly entitled to have these opinions. Under the right circumstances, it may also be necessary to voice these feelings. One of the greatest gifts to mankind is the gift of thought, and with that, opinion. I would never persist to tell people that their opinion neither matters, nor is cared for.
However, I will revert to a statement I made previously. There is, on occasion, a time and a place, to voice these opinions. My real advice here is to take note of when this time and place should be, and how it is you go about voicing your concerns or opinions. Yes, we are all entitled to our own opinion. That’s what makes us human. Yet, many of us differ in our opinions, and you can still hold your own viewpoint without having to plaster it to the entire world via social media. How many times have you scrolled through Twitter or Facebook and read something that really just grinds your gears. Consider the impact of what you say or post on social media because, as a fact, it will certainly be considered by your new, potential, employer. I am not at all suggesting that you promote a sheltered version of yourself online, as social media itself is a great platform to promote yourself, connect with people, and share memories. However, it is also a virtual footprint of who you are and with that said, all that information will instantly feedback to the laptops of people you are seeking to impress.
Increasingly, social media is one of the modern ways in job hunting, for recruiters, and for candidates. So please, keep in mind, that what you write and what you post can be very carefully digested by anyone who may be interested. This not only goes for your opinions and thoughts but, should maybe stem a tad further into other aspects too. Of course, we all love to enjoy ourselves, and revel in our partial stupidity when we let our hair down on a Friday night. But maybe, just maybe, your potential interviewer may be less impressed by a photo of you laid out on the pavement with a can of Carlsberg in your hand. These types of photos, shared with your friends only, can give you enough laughs to last a lifetime. However, beyond this circle of friends, how would an image like this be viewed? Put yourself in the shoes of an employer and think – ‘how would they perceive this?’ I don’t have enough fingers to count the amount of times social media has kicked up storms and smeared countless celebrities or public figures for what they have said, done or posted over the years. Obviously, we are lucky to not be pinned down by such limelight but, consider your actions and opinions, and how they may be interpreted online.
Check your social footprint. What does it say about you? What would it say to your employer? What could it say that might promote you better? The people that neither care, nor consider these questions, are the ones that will find trouble landing the right job for them, in a market which is slowly but very surely moving away from traditional job boards and more towards social media.