Social Media as the New Classifieds

There was a time when earnest job seekers would polish their resumes to a brilliant sheen and wait for the Sunday newspaper. In that long-anticipated document, they would find the classified section, or the help wanted ads. Page after page of opportunities with which they could match their skills abounded. Monday morning came, and with it the multiple mailings and phone calls. With patience, most candidates eventually obtained employment using this method. Recently, however, the classified sections are appearing somewhat thin. Granted, recession plays a role in their reduction. Still, new means of communication are proving more effective to hiring managers.

social media in hiring

Social Media Platforms

Social media is now a primary vehicle for prospective employees to showcase their strengths, demonstrate their experience and share their visions. When considering which of the many social media platforms is best for landing a position, candidates should adopt a wide net philosophy. Some employers will respond to a concise 140-word post on Twitter and open the attached resume. Others, however, will not view any qualifications until they feel comfortable with the applicant, thereby making Facebook a more appealing vehicle. More established companies may troll exclusively on LinkedIn. Unless an applicant can afford to be highly selective, the best strategy is all-of-the-above.

Consistent Posting

Breadth is good when seeking to connect with potential employers, but so too is depth. One or two entries now and then does not keep the job searcher front and center. Adopting a strategy of posting early and often will attract more attention. For example, addressing a subject of interest to target companies once a day may get a hit or two. On the other hand, approaching that subject from several different angles–each with its own posting–will undoubtedly make a greater impression and spark more interest. Relevant content is extremely important. It separates the serious prospect from the idle searcher. Staying abreast of developments in the chosen field, and writing intelligently about them, makes the likelihood of securing a job greater.

Detailed Profile

No employer wants a coy prospect. The profile section of any social media platform is the job seeker’s sales pitch. This summarized resume must have no holes: education, work experience, interests and a first-rate, quality photograph must all be included. Obviously, a Twitter profile will be abbreviated in comparison to LinkedIn or Tumblr. Within the platform parameters should be this rule of thumb: the more specifics provided, the better. Do not get hung up on privacy issues. Unless identity theft is a possibility, include schools, clubs and links to other websites.

The Key is Professionalism

Social media is now a necessary avenue of communication with possible employers. As tempting as it is to relax outside of work, applicants are well-advised to remember that they are on display. Immature online rants and pity parties can wait until after the offer letter is received. Keeping online presence serious and poised will play well with hiring managers. Multiple platforms, consistent posting and a winning profile likewise earn the favor of employers in need.

Patti Ray is a Communications Director who encourages the use of social media across all aspects of business Рfrom hiring employees to following up with customers after the product is out the door.  She shares a fascinating analysis of social media in advertising via the following infographic: Biggest Moments in Social Media Marketing 2012.