Social media is becoming ubiquitous. Websites like Facebook and YouTube are among the most popular websites racking up millions visits - ok, and they're also among my most visited websites too. But beyond the entertainment factor, I'm realizing more and more that social media is an indispensable part of any serious job search. As a recruiter seeking a position right now, this is especially the case for me.

Why should social media be an integral part of your job search?

Because it gives you the power to offer more than just your resume to a prospective employer. Companies will Google you as soon as you show interest in them. If nothing comes up for your name, that's bad. At the very least, there should be signs that you exist. You must have been mentioned once or twice in the last, oh, fifteen years that the internet has been widely in use. Having a solid and savvy online presence also means you know how to use social media in a way that will behoove the company and its professional goals.

How do you get hip to social media? This is something I'm still picking up - I'm very much a student at this point. For those just starting out, Google yourself and look at the results on the first SERP (search engine results page). What do you see? If you didn't know yourself, what would you think of you? Now, of the first ten results, which ones come from websites where you control the content (ie, Facebook, LinkedIn)? If you don't already have accounts with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and even MySpace, you're missing a golden opportunity to control your online image. Open accounts with these sites and others like them, all of which are free.

Now that you know where to post content about yourself, what should you post? Start with your resume on LinkedIn and VisualCV.com, but a mixture of professional and personal content will help round out your online footprint. Nobody wants or expects an employee who is all business all the time. Hiring managers are people too and they want to know more about you than just your resume. So get going! The more content you post, the more love Google will give you in the SERPs. You might not see results right away, but at least you'll rest assured that you have taken back the control of your online image. Eventually, you will be glad you did!

Views: 24

Tags: IT, Recruiters, footprint, image, media, online, social

Comment by Tracey Smith on December 31, 2009 at 10:11am
Loved your post Victoria! I am a newbie to using social media in my job search too. I am seeking a recruiting position after being out of the field a few years and am also a student of social media since it's so much a part of recruiting these days...it's fun learning new things!

Thanks for the suggestion about Visual CV...I've visited the site but not yet set up a resume there...just put it on my to do list for this weekend.

Do have a question though. Do you think its essential to be on BOTH Facebook and Myspace? I love Facebook, but shut down the Myspace account I had as so many of my "friends" no longer used the site and I was pretty much not getting anything but messages from bands or other "junk posts".

Just curious how Myspace is viewed in the social media recruiting arena and wondering if I should re-establish a presence there?
Comment by Tammy Duran on December 31, 2009 at 12:45pm
Love this post...have fun and post responsibly is what I say! If you don't mind I'd like to share.
Comment by Peter Ceccarelli on December 31, 2009 at 1:17pm
Great post! Your points are all extremely valid and to those who have not thought in this realm, very relevant.

It's most irritating when I'm recruiting an ecommerce marketing candidate for example and nothing comes up when I Google them. At the very least, something from Linkedin should. Right? But not as often as I would expect. Everyone talks about their "brand", but for the most part it's more than a personal mission statement or vision statement or customer proposition. I think if we're plugged in and spread ourselves out there we should come up in a Google search if we're "different enough" from the pack. Right? Isn't branding also about being relevant and accessible to others? I think so.
Comment by Victoria Schanen on January 1, 2010 at 1:26pm
@Tracy, I agree about MySpace and I don't use it anymore either, but I still have an account that is more of a placeholder on the SERPs than anything

@ Tammy, thanks for your comment and yes please share and/or Tweet the link back to Recruitingblogs

@Peter, thanks for the compliment and I agree with your point about branding. Cheers!

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