Do I Really Need Social Media to Get a Job?

Well the short answer is you are probably already playing a part in social media recruitment without even knowing it.

As an Employment Consultant/Job Developer working for Employment Ontario it was my job to establish professional relationships with employers and learn how best to market my local prospective talent to fill any of their staffing needs.  After establishing common ground or explaining how we would be paying them to hire our clients using targeted wage subsidy many employers would open right up about what they were really looking for in a potential employee.  This made my life so much easier as I could bypass the golden-wish-list aka job postings.  You know, the one where they want the equivalent of a rocket scientist to answer the phone and update an excel spreadsheet.  Armed with an inside scoop or the meat of a position I could easily match my clients with the essential skills identified by the employers. However, over the years a strange phenomenon started taking place.  Employers started taking interest in my clients’ online presence.

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On one occasion that has really stuck with me, I had matched an ideal job-seeker with a position at a very fast expanding new company. The client had an initial interview and I was told by the employer that they were very impressed and would like to hire my client after checking references. Not 2 hours later I received an email asking to cancel the paperwork.   When I inquired why the sudden change of heart I was sent a slew of different chat board links with my candidate bashing their firm’s clients.  This was a real eye opener as I had always prepped my clients to ensure that their settings on none professional social accounts were set to the right privacy settings. However, this was a new layer that presented quite the challenge.

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Job seeking can deceivingly seem like such an intimate experience online.  Just you and the computer. One could assume that when uploading a resume to a job board that it is a transaction exclusively meant for potential employers. Now more than ever companies are using our data to recruit.  This includes our online purchases, subscriptions, application usage, and so on.   If you want details check out this awesome article on how your online data is being collected and put to use,

Furthermore, the assumption that an employer will only settle for the information that we provided about ourselves is also very unrealistic.  A huge part of job hunting is self-marketing. In my experience, many job-seekers struggle with the concept of openly sharing or marketing themselves in fear of rejection.  What they don’t realize is that when they post an impromptu emotion filled comment on YouTube those same employers that they fear rejection from are watching.

What we share and do online shapes our digital footprint. Moving forward we can take steps in the right direction.  For example, one step could be creating draft posts or comments in a file on a device.  This allows a review to determine if they truly reflect our values and are not simply an emotional reflex that will surface to haunt us when we are most vulnerable (The Interview).

What steps can you see yourself taking?

Take a look at these articles to gather some of your own thoughts