You've perfected your cover letter and resume, have a stack of business cards by your side and are ready to put all your energy into the job search this summer. While this is noble, and a great sign you're prepared to find a job, if you forget to throw social media in the mix, your chances of finding employment drop significantly.
According to Fox Business, a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that 95 percent of HR professionals look for new candidates by browsing LinkedIn. Another study, performed by job search advice website CareerArc, found that job seekers ranked social media as one of the top three resources that will help anyone find a job. The survey showed social media joined the likes of personal referrals and online searches as the most important job search tools.
While it's often believed that social media is only for the younger members of the workforce, CareerArc's survey showed 58 percent of job hunters older than the age of 45 call social media their go-to resource for employment seeking.
The media outlet pointed out that the "who you know" mentality is still alive and well in the job search, and that social media has made it easier than ever to grow your network of contacts. However, that's not all it takes, and once these connections are established, you'll need to manage your social media presence well to lure in the recruiters.
"People become so transfixed by technology they forget social media is not a solution in-and-of-itself, rather it's tool," said Joshua Waldman, author of "Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies," adding that many believe creating a social media site only requires a "set it and forget" attitude. Most often, people confuse social media for an online resume, but this idea is mistaken.
A social network gives you the chance to create a digital, interactive display that is much more alluring to potential employers.
Handling social media
According to the news source, Waldman says it is best to consider the profile of any social networking site the foundation of your job search. If you can only think of one aspect about yourself that you want your potential employer to know, be sure to throw it on your profile. From here, you can expand with headlines, pictures and updates, but make sure all of these stay true to the central message you are conveying.
Waldman added that it's important to steer clear of what he has dubbed "profile-itis," a term he uses to explain job seekers who unnecessarily alter their profiles almost out of habit. This can convolute your message, and lead to a less cohesive profile.
According to The Undercover Recruiter, many HR professionals are turning to LinkedIn to take advantage of its hiring solutions. LinkedIn has also become one of the best places for any job seeker to establish a personal brand. The social media site and Google have a strong relationship, so if you can keep up a good LinkedIn presence, you'll become much more visible in general internet searches.
At a time when it's crucial to use any tool you can to land a new job, make sure to include social media, and to implement it into your job search strategy correctly.