A professor in college once asked the entire class to write down three things students were passionate about, apart from what they planned to do to earn a living.
To their surprise, it was hard to list down three areas of interest. Everyone was too busy spending their time studying, preparing themselves for the job market and had lost the motivation to pursue their interests.
The teacher then revealed that while recruiters might look at our skills as their topmost priority, our interests reveal more about us as a person. He continued to tell his students that if one isn’t passionate about a couple of things in one’s life that goes to reveal that that person might not be passionate about our job in the future.
And that’s how social media becomes relevant in today’s world. It gives a window into a potential employee’s world.
Is this person adventurous?
Is this person actively seeking out interesting experiences?
How creative is this person?
A look into someone’s timeline and the answers are one scroll away.
Social Media Recruiting
The exponential growth in social media has resulted in the disruption of many conventional organisational processes. One such process is Recruitment and Selection,
Social Media recruitment is the use of various social media platforms to attract, hire and evaluate prospective candidates an organization may want to hire.
These platforms have become the preferred hotspots for HR and Talent Acquisition teams. This is because a lot of people or rather most of them are spending a lot of time on various social platforms and have also started looking for jobs on social media. In fact as per a study done in 2019, 25% of all job seekers use social media to do more than just find and connect with friends—they use it to specify their next career move as well.
With the growing pervasiveness of social media, recruiters are being pushed to use social media for their hiring processes. Not only this, but organizations also now have a fully developed social media recruiting strategies in place. To implement their social media recruiting strategies organizations, use their social media presence to work on their employer branding and thereby attracting talented manpower.
As per the study done by Socially Recruited.com, some of the Social Media Recruitment Statistics 2020 are as mentioned below:
- 79% of job applicants use social media in their job search. (Glassdoor)
- 1 in 10 find their job through social media. (Clutch)
- 70% of hiring managers say they have successfully hired with social media. (Betterteam)
- 73% of millennials found their last position through a social media site. (Aberdeen Group)
- Employers believe that social media marketing will be the most in-demand HR skill by 2020. (CareerArc)
- 71% of recruiters said social media recruiting was effective in decreasing time-to-fill for non-management, salaried positions. (SHRM)
- 68% of employees believe their experience as job candidates reflects how the company treats its people. (CareerBuilder).
Social media and employer branding
Organizations are using social media platforms to attract the best possible talents by promoting their company culture and building their online presence. Many companies are also involving their existing employees to post about recent activities and company policies.
A few companies are also using social media advertising to not only increase their customer base but also to attract the right talent pool and keep the potential candidates engaged.
A great example being Spotify’s dedicated Instagram handle that constantly shares updates about current employees, new developments, and job openings.
You can browse through this fun page here: https://www.instagram.com/spotifyjobs/
Personal brand building on social media
Social media has now transformed into a tool. A tool not only used by organizations to build their brand image but a tool for us to build and shape ourselves as a brand.
Think of social media as a blank canvas. What image of yourself would you like to paint and show the world?
Whether it is art, travelling, painting, cooking or even your pets you are passionate about you should go ahead and showcase it. Today, recruiters are looking at the entire package. And your passion will only show them how your life is well-rounded.
Having said that, there is something to be cautious of while you build your personal brand online and that is: Authenticity.
Your Instagram feed or your LinkedIn profile could be showcasing an ideal life but that is a facade if it is not authentic. Being yourself (and sometimes this means being vulnerable) on social media is something we all should do. Not only does this help you stay true to yourself, but it also gives others hope that not everyone’s life is perfect. It also goes out to show that you are not insecure about being genuine and honest which we all know are two values that are the biggest green signals for any individual.
Using social media to your advantage
Now that you know you can use social media as a tool to showcase certain aspects of your personality, let us talk about going out of the box and using it to your advantage.
Ask yourself this particularly important question: Can I use social media to make my profile stand out for a potential recruiter?
The answer is Yes.
Let us see a couple of examples:
Chase Zreet, a copywriter, wanted to land a gig at Wieden + Kennedy (one of the most reputed advertising agencies in the world). While other copywriters were bombarding the agency with run-of-the-mill resumes and cover letters, Chase turned to social media.
He wrote and recorded and uploaded a rap song with some help from his friends to create the most interesting cover letter the agency might have seen.
Have a look: https://vimeo.com/241763828
You must be wondering if he scored the job. Yes, he did. The cover letter did stand out because of Chase tapping into social media’s real potential.
Popularly known as @hustlerani on Instagram, Ankita Chawla, a 20-year-old student transformed her entire Instagram feed into a resume.
Highlighting her qualification, skills, interests, and expertise in a way that no one had ever seen before. This landed her a job at Deloitte.
Have a look: https://www.instagram.com/hireankitachawla/?hl=en
The third example is you. All you must do is find a way you can use LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even Reddit to leave a lasting impression on your recruiter. But don’t forget to have fun!
Different platforms, different sides of you
Now that we know how pivotal your social presence can be, let’s explore how you can also diversify your image building process according to the social media platform available to us.
Let us start by analysing the persona of these platforms.
LinkedIn known as “Professional Social Networking Site” is a platform for those looking for serious business partnerships and networking. LinkedIn is also extremely popular with both active and passive job seekers. With more than 766 million LinkedIn users and 55 job applications are being submitted every second. LinkedIn is the most preferred social media platform for both recruiters and job seekers. As per the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report an overwhelming majority (87%) of recruiters find LinkedIn most effective when vetting candidates during the hiring process — especially those under 45 (90%). As per the ultimate list of hiring statistics more than 75 % of people who recently changed jobs used LinkedIn to inform their career decision, Top recruiters are 60 % more engaged with LinkedIn recruiting tools (vs. average recruiters).
So, In a nutshell
LinkedIn = serious business.
People on LinkedIn are expecting to see the professional side of you. Use LinkedIn to its full potential by sharing your achievements, professional experiences, and anecdotes.
Points to remember:
- While you’re truly building your professional image on this platform, don’t forget to keep it human.
- No one likes to read a string of jargon. Steer away from using words that sound professional but don’t have any substance.
- Avoid being pretentious and preachy on LinkedIn. You would often find people boasting about their career too which, let’s face it, makes you seem overconfident.
- Do not forget to tag colleagues and peers when it comes to posting about a team effort. Sharing credit for shared responsibilities builds credibility.
As per the statistics, more people are using LinkedIn, but twitter is the next best viable platform for sourcing and hiring candidates. Twitter is a general social network, not only used to connect with family and friends, but is being used for other purposes as well, many organizations have their twitter accounts being used for employer branding, launching new products, advertising or just staying in touch with their customers.
280 characters might seem a little too less, but if used judiciously organizations can communicate their real intent and seek the attention of their prospective job candidates. From a job seekers point of view as well, the number of characters may seem less but if the content is planned meticulously the candidate is sure to attract the attention of their dream company.
An easy to use and completely open social network, Twitter is a great way to share your opinions on every trending topic. Your Twitter timeline is a true reflection of who you are as a person and what you believe in.
Points to remember:
- Follow industry leaders on Twitter. This will help you stay up to date. Feel free to follow organizations and brands that spark your interest as well.
- Twitter is also a great source to keep yourself updated with the current events and cultural happenings. A great way to keep yourself in the loop is by following.
- Choose your twitter avatar pic wisely and make each character of the bio count.
Facebook & Instagram:
Facebook and Instagram are platforms where you can get creative. While the world uses these platforms to update their friends and family, ask yourself how you can push these boundaries.
Can you create a resume on Instagram?
Can you use Facebook Ads to reach recruiters?
The potential is endless. All you need to do is toy around with the features of each platform to understand how your social media profile can create an impact while being your authentic self.
Points to remember:
As per the social media statistics, 2021,21 % of recruiters have rejected candidates after chasing them on Facebook and 5 % recruiters have admitted to have cancelled job interviews due to an unimpressive or a negative social media impression.
Make sure you avoid any of the following social media turn-offs.
- Posting unbefitting photographs
- Use of offensive language while replying to people in the comments section.
- Posting derogatory comments on sensitive issues like religion, politics etc.
- Posting every detail of your day. Oversharing could come across as a constant need for validation.
- Sharing sensitive information online. One should refrain from sharing details like their address, employee ID, bank details etc. This makes the candidate come across as careless.
As a job seeker, social media platforms can be used as a powerful tool to seek recruiters’ attention. Focus on taking your social media usage to the next level by creating industry connections and reach out to your dream company through posting creative content that still feels personal and unique to you.
Use it to create a profile that reflects your passion and career choices.
Last but not least: The world of social media is way more massive than we gauge it to be. While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are our daily source of connections, don’t forget to expand your horizons with platforms like Kickstarter, Reddit, Spotify, Clubhouse, HubSpot and Glassdoor.
You never know where your out of the box lies.