It’s no secret that social media has had an enormous impact on how we live our lives. These days, it seems like everyone is online – from job seekers looking for their next opportunity to potential employers searching for the quality candidate. So what does this mean for those of us in the workforce? And more importantly, how can you make the most of social networking sites when it comes to your job search?
How Long Has Social Media Been a Part of Our Lives?
The answer to that question is most certainly relative, as its role within the internet marketing industry continues to expand. While most of us may think of MySpace, or even Facebook, as the period where social media entered our lives, some may say that social media began in 1997 with the release of Six Degrees.
Six Degrees was the first social media site created, and it allowed users to establish a relationship with other users by uploading a profile and sharing personal information. A lot like the social outlets we utilize today. However, newsfeeds and timelines were not filled with sponsored ads at this point.
Google defines social media as “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” When you think about that definition, weren’t we technically doing that in the late 1700s with the telegraph, even before that with hand-delivered scrolls and messages?
Social media has been a part of our day-to-day lives for longer than most can remember. The evolution and usage of social media has most certainly changed and evolved into a multi-purpose necessity of business practice and an all-consuming obsession with people of all ages and all walks of life.
Modern-Day Social Media
The big question of the 21st century is, are you using social media properly? Even more importantly, are you using it in a way that could negatively impact you on a personal or professional level?
Today we have platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Each one serves as a “Soap Box” , personal and professional profile, resume, and a detailed account of our lives. Essentially, putting something out on social media is a modern-day opportunity for individuals to hold their own press conferences.
If you are an employer, I am sure you have taken a peek at a few potential candidate profiles and thought to yourself that there is no way that individual would positively represent your company. We have all looked at our Facebook feed and thought to ourselves, what in the world is this person thinking? Why would they want to share that on their profile?
Talent Acquisition in a Social World
It is important to remember that social media job recruitment continues to progress and evolve, now entering the world with full force. Platforms like LinkedIn are focusing their own marketing efforts and obtaining business partnerships for the sole purpose of connecting potential employees with prospective employers.
Social Media for Recruiting Strategy
Facebook and your linkedin profile offers “Career” pages that allow companies to post open positions and view potential candidates that fit the criteria and skill set needed for particular job openings.
Shifting to a mobile world, applications like “Switch” offer a unique employee referral experience allowing both active and passive candidates to match with companies’ job listings. Job seekers can now aim to connect with employers looking for the knowledge and skills they may have simply by swiping left or right.
Benefits of Social Media for Career Search
Using social media in the right way can highlight both businesses and candidates in a positive way. Below are a few examples of benefits:
- Your profile or job listing is always live and readily available.
- You have an increased potential in discovering available jobs or qualified candidates you never knew existed.
- You can make significant contact with industry leaders in your professional network.
- You can either build your employer brand credibility or your knowledge base.
- Candidates can find openings, and companies can find job seekers.
Employers and hiring managers will often connect with potential employees by following their social media profiles. This benefits job seekers as hiring managers can find background information that supports the qualification of applicants for the position, if there is information that showcases creativity, or conveys a professional image that fits the company culture.
Connectivity is a great thing. While social media platforms can be fun, engaging, and enlightening, your online presence can damage your personal or business reputation.If you join groups, it’s essential to find yourself in the right circles, but it is equally crucial to know your audience.
Recruitment Marketing and Setting First Impressions
Remember the evolution of social media? We are now in a world that uses social media to develop the first impression before an initial meeting or interview. There are many ways that social media can be harmful to a business or an individual’s career. You can find a few examples of those below:
- A post or personal brand may violate company policy.
- An individual or a business could isolate themselves from a co-worker or potential candidate.
- For individuals, poor taste posting can lead to “Facebook Fires.”
- Tasteless posting can make a business or individual seem less professional or appealing than they truthfully are.
- Provocative or inappropriate photographs.
To clarify things a little deeper, let’s discuss some of the specific types of posting you should refrain from when using social media for job search:
- Individuals job hunting should not post about interviews or offers before notifying the current employer. This is just poor taste.
- Individuals or businesses should not criticize employers, employees, or working conditions.
- Individuals and businesses should not badmouth current or past clients. This, too, is just poor taste and could negatively affect the company’s growth.
- Discrepancies, fights, and arguments should not be posted on social media.
Social Networks and Business Recruiting
Some of you may be reading this blog and thinking, what is she trying to say? What is the point she is trying to make?
My point is that social media has always played an enormous role in networking, and now it is taking the next step into business recruiting and job search. It is an effective form of communication and continues to flourish and evolve.
Each day, the number of people using social media increases, and in turn, the number of businesses using the networks for job recruiting continues to expand. This means that we have to think of the audience on social platforms on a different scale than we did before.
Yes, teenagers are not expected to be “professionals,” but they will be applying for a career one day, and those drunken late-night frat parties can come back to haunt them. Tasteless posts by individuals or businesses can create a loss of connection between the two parties.
Keep in mind that there are many positives to social media, and we’ve enjoyed them for many, many years. Still, now we have to start thinking about the negative consequence of misusing these platforms.
I encourage businesses and individuals to review their social platforms and profiles. While you do, think about the person sitting next to you.
Does your Facebook page show you or your business how you want to be perceived? Are you comfortable showing your Instagram page to a prospective employer? Do you feel your LinkedIn profile accurately represents your business? Would your employees be shocked if they saw your Twitter feed?
Think of Social media as your “Soap Box” and make sure your message is being heard just as you intended it to be.
Last modified: June 1, 2022