It’s no surprise that recruiters are turning to social media to scope out potential employees. Therefore, it’s essential that candidates understand what recruiters are looking for online. These elements of your profiles are making a big impression on recruiters — for good or for ill.
1. Searchability – First things first, you want recruiters to be able to find you easily online, so help them out by keyword-optimizing your profiles, but also be wary of listing some of the most commonly overused buzzwords that turn recruiters off. In Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey, 82 percent of recruiters consider “their social recruiting skills to be proficient or less,” which makes your job as a qualified candidate trying to get discovered a bit more difficult than you’d expect. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. To learn how to attract more recruiters to your LinkedIn profile, see this post.
2. Who You Know – Just as in real life, the better connected you are in the business world, the better your chances are of getting noticed. Recruiters use social sites to see whom you’re connected to, as well, so it’s wise to be strategic about whom you’re connecting yourself with on and offline.
First, look to expand your online network by using LinkedIn’s Get Introduced feature and start reaching out to your immediate contacts for referrals. You’ll also want to consider following some well-known influencers who can lend some expertise in your field of work. The bottom line is, recruiters like to see that you are well-connected and active in your given industry. Think about it, a recruiter is probably more likely to consider a candidate that is already a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree connection to someone within his individual LinkedIn network or the company’s network, than someone who isn’t. So, get connected, people!
3. Personality Is Key – Recruiters are looking for someone who is a good fit technically, but, more importantly, there needs to be a great cultural fit, too. Nadine Motaweh, a Recruiting Manager at The Creative Group, indicates that she looks for candidates who have personality and who are able to articulate that effectively online and in person.
“I typically feel most excited about presenting the candidates who I know would go in and show their personality, because technical skills can be taught — being someone I want to spend my whole day with five days a week is not,” Motaweh tells PayScale.
The lesson here is to express your personality in a way that is appealing and professional. Don’t fake the funk and pretend to be someone you’re not. Instead, convey tidbits about your professional and personal life that make you relatable and interesting.
4. Red Flags – Yes, it’s true that we live in the land of the free, but if you’re a job seeker looking for employment, you might want to reconsider the wisdom of practicing your right to freedom of speech on social media. According to Jobvite’s survey, an astonishing 55 percent of recruiters have reconsidered their decision about hiring a candidate based on their social media profiles, with 61 percent of those being negative decisions. Keep in mind that hiring personnel are searching for red flags such as posts with profanity, spelling and grammar mistakes, poor lifestyle choices (e.g. drugs and alcohol) broadcasted for all to see, and sexual references. Rule of thumb, if you don’t want your parents to see it, then don’t post it — chances are, a recruiter definitely doesn’t want to see it, either.
5. Engage – Last, but not least, continue to stay engaged with your networks. What does this mean? It means you’ll want to find conversations online that you can participate in and lend your expertise, whether they be industry-related or part of your personal interests.
Staying engaged with your community allows you to expand your network, keep up with the latest and greatest in your industry and hobbies, and provides an open forum for you to offer your expert advise, and so much more. Simply listing your skills on your resume isn’t enough anymore. Recruiters want concrete examples of how you utilized those skills in a real-life setting. Some great avenues to do so are: directly on your profile/resume, in LinkedIn recommendations, and in the conversations you participate in online.
Important note: be sure you know what you’re talking about in your discussions and not trolling, because the last thing you want to convey is that you’re an immature know-it-all. Let’s be smart about it, folks.
To learn how to land a job in three months, read about the seven smart habits of successful job seekers, here.
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Leah Arnold-Smeets, owner of Emiko Consulting, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs capitalize on their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, and reach their full potential. Leah obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Southern California (USC).