Whilst we’ve discussed how Social Media Sites could inadvertently be career limiting, using them strategically could seriously accelerate your job hunting project. In fact, being uber smart in terms of how you handle your public profiles could very well land you a promotion!
Most employment agencies are now using social and professional media sites as their prime tactic for sourcing talent. They are searching professional groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and the other most popular media sites to find candidates depending on their requirements. Companies are also swiftly moving in the direction of “cyber-sourcing”. The strategy which these companies are following is really interesting and very proactive. They tend to follow the progress of earmarked candidates over a period of time as a form of informal assessment. Once they have gained enough information to fully validate the potential candidate, they move in and contact the person for an interview.
So what do you need to be doing to promote yourself and your capabilities to these techno savvy companies? Simply e-mailing your CV to every Human Resources Manager around is no longer going to get you into an interview room. Let’s take a look from an insider’s perspective:
A large South African company was recently trying to fill some critical junior and senior engineering positions. Because they needed to fill seven positions within a short period of time, their strategy had to be clearly defined. They scanned all of the professional groups on the most popular professional and also social media sites. They placed ads on all of these sites as well. They started identifying suitable candidates based on their technical requirements. They then started following these candidates and also sending friend and network requests. After a period of one month, they had gathered sufficient information to form a shortlist. And guess what criteria they used to get to their shortlist (other than the technical criteria)?
• The activity of the candidate during that month
• Quality of profile and portfolio of the candidate
• The endorsements or references which the candidates had online
• The professionalism (or lack of) displayed by the candidate online
• The links posted by the candidate
• Number of people who viewed the candidate’s profile
From a labour legislation perspective, this company obviously also ensured that the practice they were following was fair and equitable and within the parameters of the different employment Acts. The lesson here though is that if you have not yet developed your Cyber Identity, best you do so pronto. The second lesson is that if you have a Cyber Identity, best you make sure that you manage it strategically. This is such an enormous personal branding opportunity, and too few graduates, job seekers and those looking to enhance their careers are using this opportunity to the absolute max.
Make sure your personal, professional and academic achievements are professionally marketed through links, blogs or posts which are attached to your public profiles. Update your information daily, weekly, monthly or whenever you have new information to add. Manage your public identity discreetly and professionally, always keeping in the back of your mind that a potential employer could be monitoring your activity. If you have a specific social profile which you prefer keeping simple and totally social, make sure that you limit your friends to just your social friends.
Technology is so not going away – use it smartly and see how impressive you will look to a potential employer when they Google you!
Loren Schiebe is the Managing Director of Options UnLTD, specialising in providing outsourced business options in the areas of human resource consulting, specialised recruitment, training workshops and freelance writing. Loren is an HR expert and freelance writer who is passionate about inspiring others through writing, training, workshops and inspirational speaking.
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