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Want to Get a Job Fast? Become a Social Media Savant

Hannah P. Morgan

If someone told you there was a better way to find your new job, would you embrace it? Jobvite's 6th Annual Social Recruiting Survey is out and it's filled with evidence that proves hiring is happening through social networks. You can no longer afford to dismiss your activity on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. If you are one of the 70 percent of dissatisfied employees - a staggering statistic from a recent Gallup study - and you plan on looking for a new job soon, you'll want to use this information to implement changes to your job-search strategy.

The numbers are in. In June 2013, Jobvite surveyed 1600 recruiting and human resources professionals online. More than three-quarters of hiring managers surveyed report actually hiring through social networks: 92 percent used LinkedIn, 24 percent hired from Facebook, and 14 percent found their new hires on Twitter. Also, 94 percent of hiring managers use social networks at some point during the recruiting process, and 93 percent say they are likely to look at candidates social profiles. According to the survey, when recruiters view your LinkedIn profile, they want to verify professional experience, length of professional tenure and specific hard skills. The take-away for all active job seekers, as well as for those who plan to begin searching, is to beef up your LinkedIn activity and build a strong profile that highlights those areas. Also go a step beyond to provide interests and showcase soft skills that prove you will be the right cultural fit.

Employers see a greater ROI: faster and better hires. One-third of the hiring managers and recruiters surveyed credit social recruiting with speeding up the hiring process. The findings also conclude that the highest-rated candidates are sourced through social networks, as well as through referrals and corporate career sites. In fact, 61 percent of new hires came from referrals and company career pages, versus 14 percent from job boards. Many companies are creating career communities as Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to engage with potential candidates for easier future sourcing.

Use the company's career pages. Yes, companies post jobs, but they are also post information about their employees and press releases on their career pages. While you are on a website's career page, look for other outlets on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Follow the company's Twitter accounts and "like" their Facebook page, but don't stop there. Enter into conversation with the company by re-sharing the status update with an addition such as, "New product release sure to build market share for @ABCco [link to company announcement]." Another option is to ask a follow-up question to the company's status update. Be sure you have read the full article first, so that you ask a question not already answered in the article. Good grammar and spelling count, so be sure to double-check what you post.

Connect with company insiders. Employee referrals make great hires. Employers recognize this and offer employee referral programs where employees are compensated in a variety of ways, for passing along candidates who end up getting hired. You can search Facebook to find people you know, if they have included their work information in their profile. You can search LinkedIn, too. You can even use applications to help you search for people in your various networks who could help refer you to a connection.

Clean up all your social networking activity. Even if you don't plan to use Facebook and Twitter to connect with employers and company insiders, you must make sure your profiles are up to par. A simple search could reveal your profile. Take down questionable photos you've shared, whether you are tagged in them or not. Remove profanity, posts of a sexual nature, references to guns and extreme religious or political opinions. Do be sure to include information about the volunteer causes you support and are involved in.

Don't wait. Learning how to maximize your presence and activity online takes a bit of practice. Begin updating your profiles today to increase your odds of getting discovered in the future.

Hannah Morgan is a speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice; she guides job seekers and helps them navigate today's treacherous job search terrain.

Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa.

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