It has become pertinent for job seekers to keep an eye on social media, where a lot of activity is constantly happening.
Switching jobs was never easy in the past. You had to find recruiters with openings matching your profile, get the right referrals, and make the cut before the opportunity was sealed. These were the crucial elements of a successful job hunt.
However, the dynamics of recruitment have dramatically changed over the past decade, with online referrals and social media platforms becoming the media where jobs are advertised and searched these days. A major portion of the shortlisting of candidates happens through social media checks.
Increasing influence and reach of the social media is a primary factor affecting hiring today. The postings often move from circle to circle, get shared with job seekers and eventually connect the recruiters with the right talent.
However, there is a belief that people on some social media websites are there just to hunt for jobs. This is a wrong perception. Both active and passive job seekers are there on these platforms. In addition to jobs, there are other benefits as well.
It’s true that both the conventional and new-age hiring practices co-exist. However, it has become pertinent for job seekers to keep an eye on social media, where a lot of activity is constantly happening.
In a world driven by social media, it doesn’t pay to be a recluse. By not being active on the social network, you may lose your grip on the latest trends in your industry, and also miss out on crucial intelligence about lucrative opportunities. Unlike yesteryears when a lot of openings were advertised in newspapers, recruiters today post opportunities on social media sites and even get connected with potential recruits through the social network. A lot of referrals also occur on social media platforms. You might be the most eligible employee for a particular profile, even the most qualified and capable, but an absence of visibility may reduce your opportunities. The larger your network, the better it is for you; the more visible you are, the more intelligence you are likely to gain.
Join networks of your field
You may have a large network of friends and social acquaintances, but are you enrolled in groups dominated by people who work in your field? This is an important area from where you can get tip- offs about opportunities in your industry. Increasingly, employers post requirements on Facebook pages, Twitter and industry groups. In fact, a lot of hirings actually happen through this route. Therefore, it is advisable to join industry groups, where the majority of your professional peers are connected. The key is to figure out where ‘your kind of people’ are, and stay in touch with them. Large social media sites, like LinkedIn and Facebook, offer access to an entire network, while smaller industry-focussed groups are instrumental in helping you zero in on your targets.
LinkedIn offers convenient access to resume-style information. Make sure you have an account where you build relationships with a network of professionals over time. It also makes your resume accessible to a large number of professionals, who might be looking for a candidate of your profile. Join member-created groups relevant to your business and industry, and be mindful of the exchanges taking place.
Invest in your social media profile
Utilising social media helps recruiters peek into your profiles, even if you are passive or not actively applying for a job. This is why, you should invest time and energy in maintaining an impressive social media profile. What you write about yourself, the way you present your profile, even the language you use can get you noticed. Also make sure that your online profile adds up to scrutiny.
Build social goodwill
Do not hesitate to connect with people online and be ever ready to help others on social platforms. Building goodwill is advantageous in every domain, especially on social media.
(The author is vice president-human resources, Sun Life Financial, Asia Service Centre)