Social Media & the Job Search

Over the past few years social media sites have dominated our online landscape. Studies show that over 62% of Canadians are on at least 1 social media platform and 79% of Canadians between the ages of 16-24 are on social media. This means that a large portion of the population that is attempting to find their first job/career are also the ones who are the most active and prominent on public media platforms.

This is both a positive and a negative thing for those job seekers. Having a strong online presence can boost your chances of landing a job if utilized correctly. If not, it can severely hinder your chances and can prevent future employment.

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Studies show that 43% of employers use social media to screen potential candidates and 12% currently don’t but plan to in the near future. When these employers are looking at social media they are looking for things like:
-Information that supports the qualifications for the job
-Whether the individual has a professional online persona
-What other people are posting about the candidate
-Looking for reasons not to hire the candidate

Based on what they find on a person’s profile, some reasons employers have found not to hire a candidate include:

-inappropriate photos
-information about drinking/drug use
-bad mouthing previous employers
-poor communication skills
-discriminatory comments
-lack of profiles at all (35% of employers said they are less likely to interview someone if they can’t find them online)

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Now don’t let this frighten you, there are many benefits of having an online persona and having potential employers find you online.
Employers have noted they have made many hiring decisions based on information they have found on candidates profiles including:

-individual’s background supports qualifications
-good personality that will be a good fit with company culture
-professional image
-good communication skills
-creative individuals

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This article from Forbes.com on 7 Ways to Use Social Media to Land a Job is a wonderful resource for maintaining a professional online presence.

And this article from Time.com on 7 Social Media Mistakes Most Likely to Cost You the Job will help you determine what not to post online in order to maintain the image you desire.
It is very simple to create an online presence that will benefit your job search. It is up to you to control your online image and monitor what is being said about you on social media platforms. Your name is your brand and you must do everything you can to protect your brand and maintain a strong, professional image for any potential employers to see.
-Kaitlyn

Sources:
http://advice.careerbuilder.com/posts/think-before-you-post-your-online-presence-can-cost-you-a-job
http://rapidboostmarketing.com/canadians-love-social-media-but-canadian-businesses-hate-to-embrace-it/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/16/how-social-media-can-help-or-hurt-your-job-search/
http://advice.careerbuilder.com/posts/post-tweet-pin-follow-how-social-media-can-help-and-hurt-the-job-hunt