How you use social media and your online presence in general matter in executive job search.
Hiring decision makers and executive recruiters are “social recruiting”. They use social media platforms to identify potential candidates and find information about them.
In 2016, Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Report, a study of over 1,600 recruiting and human resources professionals, found that 94% of recruiters use social media to identify and assess candidates.
That was LAST year. Although their 2017 report didn’t address this issue, the number has probably increased for the participants in that study.
In a 2017 study of more than 2,300 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes in the private sector, Career Builder found that 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates.
The CareerBuilder study also found:
- 57% of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online
- 54% of employers have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles
- Half of employers check current employees’ social media profiles, over a third have reprimanded or fired an employee for inappropriate content
Any way you look at it, your social media use is a qualifying and DIS-qualifying factor.
Building a diverse, robust – and CLEAN – online footprint is essential.
If you have little to no online presence, many employers may pass you right by . . . or they may never find you because you’re invisible to them.
What are employers looking for?
According to the CareerBuilder study, employers are looking for:
Information that supports their qualifications for the job (61 percent), if the candidate has a professional online persona (50 percent), what other people are posting about the candidates (37 percent) and for a reason not to hire a candidate (24 percent).
And they’re not just looking at social media. They probably found your social media accounts because they’ve Googled “your name”.
All kinds of things can appear in search results for someone’s name.
11 social media reasons some employers won’t hire you
CareerBuilder found that 54% of employers didn’t hire candidates because of these social media blunders:
- Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information: 39 percent
- Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs: 38 percent
- Candidate had discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion: 32 percent
- Candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee: 30 percent
- Candidate lied about qualifications: 27 percent
- Candidate had poor communication skills: 27 percent
- Candidate was linked to criminal behavior: 26 percent
- Candidate shared confidential information from previous employers: 23 percent
- Candidate’s screen name was unprofessional: 22 percent
- Candidate lied about an absence: 17 percent
- Candidate posted too frequently: 17 percent
Conversely, here’s the good news from the study:
More than 4 in 10 employers (44 percent) have found content on a social networking site that caused them to hire the candidate. Among the primary reasons employers hired a candidate based on their social media profiles were candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications (38 percent), great communication skills (37 percent), a professional image (36 percent), and creativity (35 percent).
What should job seekers do?
1. Google “your name” right now, to see what employers are finding when they do the same.
- Do you “own” the first several search results?
- Or does it take several pages of results before you get to anything related to you?
- If you have a common first and last name, are you indistinguishable from the others with your name?
- What information will people find about you when they click on those search results?
- Is it what you need them to know about you and your potential value to the companies or organizations you want to work for?
Get into the habit of self-Googling about once a week, especially if you’re actively job hunting and people are looking at your online presence.
If negative search results for your name appear, do whatever you can to have them taken down. If that’s not possible, work hard at building up positive, brand-reinforcing search results, to supplant the bad ones.
2. Get busy building your brand online and expanding your online presence.
Will people find these critical elements when they search “your name” – relevance, quality, diversity, volume, consistency?
Meeting these elements will increase the number of search results for your name. The better your online reputation, the better you position yourself online. The stronger your presence online, the more appealing you’ll be to the people who can most help you meet your career goals.
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