Written by the HME Team.
The Internet is transforming recruiting practices at an astonishing rate – who would have thought just ten years ago, for example, that for some companies would be encouraging people to submit their resumes on video via Youtube. Online recruiting sites such as Seek are providing a convenient and broad way to attract candidates, and are now so popular that many companies are choosing to cut out the middle men – the traditional recruiting agencies and head hunting firms - and find potential candidates themselves. Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are also helping to change the face of recruitment and succession planning. Nowadays job seekers ignore social media at their peril, and companies who are not using the power of such networks for search and selection of employees may be missing out on a whole sector of internet-savvy candidates.
Most social media started out life as social gathering and sharing places (Facebook and Twitter being great examples) and have since morphed into a variety of uses as people discover how powerful they can be to spread a message, a brand or useful information.
Sites such as Facebook give passive or active job seekers direct access to a company or organisation, providing a level of interaction that was previously unheard of. Most companies these days will advertise upcoming roles on Facebook or Twitter, or even have separate pages for careers advice and general opportunities.
As a social media network LinkedIn is portably a job seeker’s most powerful tool, as it was originally launched in 2003 as a professional business networking platform. While Facebook was designed to share information with friends and family, LinkedIn is more about building a personal brand in a work environment. It has several advantages for someone looking for a new role: the ability to connect directly or indirectly with key personnel at companies, to publish a detailed personal resume as well as its extensive job listing service. LinkedIn has also just announced a new standalone job search mobile app that will expand its recruitment services dramatically.
Apart from searching for jobs directly, social media networks also provide a fantastic opportunity to build and enhance your career prospects. Having a professional profile on LinkedIn, with relevant up to date information, will be the best advertisement for your abilities if companies and recruiting agencies are looking for talent with your particular skills or in your industry.
A word of warning: we’ve all heard of the stories of business professionals making terrible blunders using (or mis-using) social media networks such as Twitter. Often they are as simple as one-off comments that mean little out of context, but no matter how small and insignificant they might seem at the time, these can be career-ending moves. A good rule of thumb with posting information, comments, photos or anything else online is to apply the “mother” rule – that is, ask yourself (before you press the send button) whether it’s something you’d be happy for your mother to read or to see.
Another important rule about the social media networks is that if you don’t know how to do something, do nothing. Posting content that is wrong, or not reading or understanding the rules of a social network such as Facebook or Twitter are all rookie mistakes that are very hard to erase. Taking the time to learn the right way to use things like online forums is critical in making you look professional and helping you build a personal brand that will hopefully attract potential employers.