I’ve written other posts for this blog telling you about the importance of having an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn, using all the tools that LinkedIn has to offer, and making sure that your other social media sites present you in a way that is professionally acceptable. However, last week I read an article on cio.com that took a different approach—it talks to those who may have thought they could succeed at finding a job without having any social media presence at all (or by having their profiles set to “private”).
According to research from CareerBuilder, many employers won’t even consider an applicant if they can’t find information about them online. For some people, that’s a frightening thought. I have friends who take a great deal of pride in the fact that searching for their name online doesn’t lead to anything relevant about them. But most of those folks aren’t interested in looking for a job! If you’re actively searching, or even if you’re in a position where you have a job but would be willing to consider something different, you need to make sure that your information is available.
In addition to LinkedIn, Twitter has become an important resource for recruiters. A related article (found on sofwareadvice.com) gives detailed results of research on how Fortune 500 companies are using Twitter as a recruiting tool. If you’re not active on Twitter—or if you manage your Twitter feed poorly/unprofessionally—it may have a profound effect on your career. According to the article, Twitter is growing faster than LinkedIn (and according to that source, Facebook isn’t growing at all among adults), so I think you can expect to see more companies using Twitter as a resource. And it’s not a one-way street—job seekers can use Twitter to check out company profiles, search for job-specific hashtags, or even apply for tweeted jobs.
The bottom line is that social media is here to stay, and an important part of any job search is using it to maintain an active, professional presence online.