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The Professional Side of Social Media

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Sharon Partridge

on 28 June 2013

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Transcript of The Professional Side of Social Media

The Professional Side of Social Media
Job Searching
Online Identity
Since employers are using social media as part of the recruiting process, it's important for for job searchers to not only have a presence online, but to manage their online identities effectively. Reppler's survey illustrated that recruiters look at several social media networks to gain insight into a candidate's character and personality. They are looking for people who have a positive attitude, show good communication skills and creativity, and are well-rounded.

Social Recruiting
Social media has changed how we interact and stay connected and this is also true in the professional world. It is more and more common for employers to use social media to attract, recruit and screen potential employees.
World's largest professional networking site
Create an online resume
Make connections with other professionals and request recommendations
Post and view job postings

Companies are using social media to show their personality as an employer. It is a way for them to build their brand and highlight what they have to offer in a cost-effective manner. They can attract the right type of candidate that will be a good fit for the company, while connecting and engaging with people before they even consider them as an employer.
Companies can target specific groups using social media. For example, posting content on a social media page for the sales and marketing graduating class at several universities.
Many companies use tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube to share, engage and create a buzz about their brand, ultimately directing traffic to their career page.
Many companies are now using social media for recruitment. Employers use social networks and resume databases to find employers directly rather than waiting for a candidate to send them a resume. LinkedIn is the most widely used social network site for recruitment. Laura Mounsteven from Loyalist Community Employment Services observes that LinkedIn is actively used in larger centres such as Ottawa and Toronto but is also becoming more common in smaller areas like the local Quinte region.
Employers are using social media to get to know job candidates both on a professional and personal level. Reppler, a social media monitoring service, surveyed 300 hiring professionals regarding their use of social media during the hiring process. 91% said they used social media to screen candidates with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn being the most widely used. 69% reported that they rejected a candidate based on information found on a social networking site and 68% said that information found played a role in their decision to hire a candidate. View the survey infographic here: http://blog.reppler.com/2011/09/27/managing-your-online-image-across-social-networks/
After LinkedIn, Facebook is the most popular site used by employers. Facebook bridges the gap between a candidate's professional and personal life and helps employers determine if they are a good fit for their company. They can also look for communication skills, social skills, creativity, and determine if education, experience and other facts are consistent.
Not having a Facebook account, or any other online presence, can raise a red flag. Employers may wonder what you are hiding or if you are lacking skills in the latest technology. This is particularly unfavourable when applying for jobs that require computer skills and social media savvy.
The importance employers place on social media presence will vary by industry. For someone in public relations, sales or administration, social media savvy will weigh more heavily than someone in construction or a trade that tends to use more traditional recruiting methods. It is important to know your audience.
While it is possible to find job postings on sites like Facebook or Twitter, Mounsteven argues that social media has not fundamentally changed how we search for jobs, but that it is more about giving job searchers more opportunities for networking and marketing themselves.
On their blog, Reppler recommends using various social networks to leverage a job search.
Use LinkedIn to outline skills and experience and keep information up-to-date.
Use Twitter to connect with industry leaders and recruiters. Building a network of followers can inform recruiters about a job searcher's industry status and increase their visibility and credibility.
Use Pinterest to showcase creative achievements. It can serve as a portfolio of their work.
Clean-up your profile and monitor it. If friends post inappropriate content, delete it or untag yourself
Ensure all your social network profiles are consistent
Show your creative side
Use proper grammar and show good communication skills
Follow or "like" companies that you are interested in
Join a group related to your industry
Highlight volunteer and charity work
Be social, friendly and show a positive attitude
lie about credentials, skills or experience
use derogatory language
post references to drug or alcohol abuse
make negative comments
complain about your current job or employer
post inappropriate photos
Social media has given us a new platform both to recruit employees and to find a job. Whether it's LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or You Tube, recruiters are checking out what we are doing online. The basics of what they are looking for is the same: qualifications, education or experience, but the sources have changed. Social media gives the added advantage of a glimpse into your personality and character, and allows employers to connect and engage with potential employees before ever posting a position.

Like it or not, employers are making decisions based on our online identities. Mounsteven advises to be comfortable with what you are posting and know your audience; be mindful of the industry you are targeting and gear your online activities accordingly.

Whether you are looking for your dream job or trying to recruit the best of the best, using social media can help you find the perfect fit.
The Way of the Future
Job searchers need to be aware that nothing is private online. While they may think that their information is private, settings may allow friends of friends to view their content or friends may be able to share content with their other connections, one of whom may be a recruiter. It's important to treat everything as if it will be viewed publicly and monitor what is out there pertaining to them.
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