News & insights

How Using Social Media Can Improve Your Job Prospects

By Fiona Frudd

Connect with Recruiters /

Networking used to mean standing around awkwardly, making small talk with people who might one day be able to do you a favour. Fortunately, the advent of social media has meant that’s no longer the case. Instead, it’s easy for you to ‘like’, ‘follow’ and connect with influential people in ways never before thought possible; to seek guidance, advice and inspiration.

Job-seekers would be wise to take advantage of this by approaching recruiters and adding them to their networks. Most recruiters will accept these requests, as it helps to swell their pool of prospective talent. Also, it will allow you the opportunity to send direct messages to recruiters, should you wish to find out something more about a role. In turn, they may be able to give you some insider information about the employer. This is definitely an option you should grab with both hands.

You’ll be exposed to more vacancies /

With almost all recruiters and 39 per cent of employers utilising social media for hiring purposes, it stands to reason that candidates who conduct job searches through these platforms will be presented with more vacancies. Whether it’s sharing a role on Facebook, tweeting it directly from a website or posting it on LinkedIn, the fact remains that you will see a greater number of job advertisements – especially if you ‘follow’ your favourite recruiters. What’s more, it’s easy to search social media – you can set up lists in Twitter and simply click on the ‘jobs’ tab in LinkedIn – thus your search could be streamlined, too. Naturally, the more jobs you see and apply to, the greater your chances of progression to the next stage.

It’s worth noting that not all jobs are advertised on social media. In fact, recent research claims that some 70 per cent of jobs never actually get advertised anywhere. These are the jobs that are filled via word of mouth, especially the more high profile positions. To get a piece of this action, you need to use social media to build a valuable network of contacts online, participate in forums and contribute to group conversations. Each of these actions increases your visibility, demonstrates your strengths and allows recruiters and employers to identify you as a possible candidate. After all, very often it’s about who you know.

You’ll be found /

 If the point above didn’t make it clear enough, be absolutely in no doubt that recruiters use social media. The Capterra blog adds that 89 per cent of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn and it is their preferred social media platform. That’s probably because it offers a special search function for recruiters that allows them to comb through the whole network; not simply the people they are connected to. That means that anyone with an up-to-date and well-written LinkedIn profile could be ‘discovered’.

To enhance your prospects of being found by recruiters, it’s a good idea for candidates to include a few key industry-related search terms on their profiles and CV. These terms are typically the ones expressed in job adverts for the kind of roles you are interested in, and shouldn’t be too difficult to incorporate. It might also help if you ask your network to endorse you for certain skills.

Additional information can strengthen your application /

Increasingly, candidates are advised to find ways to differentiate themselves from the masses, in order to stand out when applying for jobs. However, the amount of detail one can include on a CV is limited. Thankfully, you can communicate all that extra information through your social media profiles.

The majority of recruiters turn to the web to seek insight into your personality, to check qualifications and to view testimonials – which together can strengthen your application. It is through social media that you can mention your hobbies and your extra-curricular achievements in addition to your professional accolades; to present a more ’rounded’ picture of yourself.

As such, it’s pertinent to keep all of your professional profiles updated. Add training courses, seek recommendations, include new responsibilities. An article in Forbes highlights that it’s as important to emphasise what you could offer a prospective employer as it is to mention employment information.

Used by recruiters as a screening tool /

Shifting recruitment to the internet in recent years has transformed it into a slicker, speedier process. No longer do recruiters need to wait for you to receive, complete and send back application forms before they can progress you to the next stage. Now, they can carry out vetting simply from the information provided on social media.

They can check LinkedIn for your previous employment dates and for testimonials as to your character. While no reputable recruiter would approach a referee without your consent, they are able obtain basic details immediately – such as gaps in employment or to establish whether you would be a good team fit. This essentially covers off the initial screening round.

Bear in mind that you can also shoot yourself in the foot if your personal profiles remain open for all to see. According to an article by Resume Bear, 65 per cent of recruiters check social media to ‘evaluate candidates’ professionalism in terms of social conduct’, and as a result, almost three-quarters have found a reason not to progress a candidate. Should a recruiter land upon photos of you in some uncompromising situations, or should they read some unfavourable posts, then it’s highly likely that your application gets rejected.

Ultimately, these networks prove a highly efficient medium through which you can increase your visibility and demonstrate precisely why you are the perfect person for a role. With so many recruiters and employers now considering LinkedIn, etc., as their first port of call when searching for candidates, you can’t afford not to embrace social media.

Fiona Frudd
Fiona Frudd
Head of Marketing