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Is social media helping or hindering your career progression?

Social Media
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Like many other industries, social media has completely revolutionised the recruitment sector. LinkedIn makes it a great deal easier for candidates to demonstrate their experience and expand their network. Likewise, recruiters are able to seek out candidates that they think will be most suitable for the role they are looking to fill.

But social media has also caused controversy for many high profile leaders, in some cases even affecting the share price of the companies they run. In this post Claudio Rojas explains how candidates can leverage social media to make themselves stand out to recruiters but also sensible precautions to take before embarking on a job search.

Social screening

Your friends may love seeing the photos of the night you found yourself dancing semi naked on the bar of a raucous nightclub but will it create the right impression to a prospective employer? Arguably what you get up to in your private life is, within reason, none of an employer’s business.

However, recruiters are increasingly using social media to assess candidates’ suitability. According to Career Builder 70% of employers now use social media to screen candidates before hiring them, up from 60% in 2016 and 11% in 2006. More than half of those surveyed (57%) said they have found something during their social screenings that resulted in a candidate not being hired.

Now we're not saying that you should delete all your social media accounts, and put yourself on weekend house arrest until you retire, but there are precautions you can take to minimise the chances of a long forgotten night coming back to haunt you.

Managing your personal social media accounts

Many see Facebook as a private forum. So make sure that you have your settings set to private, so just your friends can see your comments or photos.

If you have a Twitter account, scroll through to see if there are any tweets that could might offend someone outside of your friendship group.

We all make mistakes. If you have had one glass of port too many and have sent a tweet or made a comment that could be construed as offensive, apologise as quickly as possible and delete the tweet or post.

Be mindful of the fact that the higher you rise up the career ladder, and the higher profile your role, the more your social media activities are likely to be scrutinised.

Selling yourself on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important when searching for a new job – according to Forbes, 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their overall recruitment process. It’s therefore a highly effective way of demonstrating your experience and skillset and getting found by a company that’s looking to hire.

Even when you are not actively looking for a new job there are a number of steps you can take raise your profile so that recruiters come to you when sought after positions become available.

• Add “keywords” to your LinkedIn profile that describe your strongest skillsets and helps recruiters and companies find you

• Join relevant industry groups that you can contribute to (whether that’s sharing industry news or starting/contributing to discussions on major topics and trends) to raise your profile and promote yourself as a thought leader

• Get Recommendations and endorsements from people who know your work well and can speak highly of you

• A good way to get the ball rolling is to recommend and endorse others, so they return the favour

• Make sure your contact information is up to date so that is easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find you and get in touch.

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