The online job search has transformed from submitting job applications into cyberspace with the hope of it landing in the hands of a real-life hiring manager to connecting directly with hiring managers, job leads, and more. In 2003, LinkedIn® was created as a site for professional networking. By 2006, it had more than 20 million viewers with the main goal of helping users “access knowledge, insights, and opportunities.” This networking tool has come a long way since its inception to include 300+ million global members and inclusion in many job-searching resources, self-help guides, and more.
While many agree that LinkedIn is the prime social media tool for professional networking, don’t forget about the many other avenues available to build a positive and professional online presence. In a recent U.S. News article about using social media, it recommended that you use every social media network that makes sense for you. It also noted that employers and recruiters are tapping into multiple social media networks, not just LinkedIn. So, if you base 100% of your job search success on your LinkedIn profile it might be time to expand your social media brand!
Again, it’s important to drive your online presence based on research, data, and what works for your industry. Based on the mentioned article and the Society of Human Resources 2013 Survey, here’s a breakdown of what employers are using to look for job seekers:
- 92 percent use LinkedIn
- 58 percent use Facebook
- 31 percent use Twitter
- 25 percent used Google+
- Less than 10 percent used sites such as YouTube, Pinterest, Myspace, and Foursquare.
So, it might be time to clean up your Facebook profile or hop on the Twitter train. Before you do this, take a step back to understand how recruiters use Facebook and Twitter. Recruiters are tapping into these social media sites to pre-screen job applicants before or during the job search process to see a more personal view of you and depending on what they find, it can help or hurt your image.
Many job seekers spend time perfecting their LinkedIn profile but forget about the important role of Facebook and Twitter. Whether you like it or not, hiring managers are looking you up online and doing it early in the game. So, think of Facebook and Twitter as a personal branding platform. Of course, you can limit the privacy of your Facebook to some extent, but remember that employers have Facebook pages too that you might want to connect with or follow! It’s a little scary to think about using Facebook to network professionally, but research indicates most employers will be looking there anyway to screen you in or out. So, whether you chose to keep it completely social or make it professional you still need to consider a large percentage of employers will look you up and only you can choose what they see!