As part of Social Media Week New York, we recently hosted an event titled "Everything You Need to Know About Social Media for Your Job Search." The event was moderated by Vault's Senior CSR Editor, Aman Singh, and featured a panel of experts from a range of backgrounds:
- • Nereida "Netty" Perez, VP, Inclusion & Diversity, National Grid
- • Michael Scheidemann, Assistant Director for Recruiting, Capgemini
- • Omowale Casselle, CEO, mySenSay, Inc.
- • Margaret Davidson, Manager of Editorial Research, Vault
The full panel lasted 90 minutes and, given the level of participation from the audience, could easily have run longer. For those who are interested in reliving the full morning, check out the video here:
Watch live streaming video from vaultcareers at livestream.com
Just looking for the big takeaways? Here are several key themes and pieces of advice that emerged from the conference:
- • Have a reason for being online. The theme of the morning was all about purposefulness. Social media should represent your professional persona, tailored to your current state of affairs and goal; nothing more, nothing less.
- • Clean up your Facebook profile--don't create two accounts. The board agreed that this looks suspicious. Better to make use of your privacy settings. And while you're at it, Google yourself: you may be surprised at what recruiters are seeing attached to your name.
- • Omit sensitive hiring factors off your social media profiles. Marital status, political affiliation, religious beliefs—if you'd be offended being asked about it in an interview, recruiters don't want to see it on your Facebook page.
- • Keep a puffed up title to yourself. If you work for a small company with big titles (re: Vice President) set your Linked In job titled to the deparment you work in, like "marketing," and focus on the duties of your job. You won't be misresenting your role, but you won't scare any recruiters away with a too-senior title.
- • Be aware: once hired, companies still monitor your social media presence. Profile vigilance isn't just about getting hired—it's about protecting your job too. Remember, when you're associated with a company, your online actions represent the brand. Act accordingly.
- • Never use the sentence "As a [title] at [company], I believe…" Unless you've been giving the company's permission to release a statement, never opine with their name attached to yours. It's a lot of legal trouble just waiting to happen.
- • Don't play hard to get. Getting a job is not dating. "Looking good" online is not enough to draw recruiters your way. You need to engage them and get on their social media radar.
- • If you reach out directly, have a purpose. Recipients of vague friend requests or messages will be suspicious of your intentions, not receptive. Instead, make a clear statement of interest, reference the company's products and services, and make a specific request, such as an introduction to someone in the person's department.
- • Keep in touch. Not getting the offer is no reason to ignore a recruiter you connected with. A quick message or friend request—again, referencing something going on with the company so you appear interested and informed—will keep you on their radar for future prospects.
- • Get active online—but only if you can keep it up. Groups are a great way to get visibility among major players in your industry, so join away—but only involve yourself in as much as you can actively participate in. Being a silent observer won't do your reputation any favors.
- • Don't friend someone you don't know on LinkedIn. Because many recruiters are protective of their LinkedIn and Facebook connections (they feel it represents them professionally, our panel informed us), they protect their accounts fiercely. Better to follow them on Twitter to familiarize yourself, then send a private message.
- • Stay active when you're out of work. In this day and age of connectedness, resume gaps just look lazy. Volunteer your services, get involved in industry groups, consult—show future employers that you're dedicated to your work and committed to self improvement.
Vault's Social Media Survey
A Live Stream of the Event
View the slides from the presentation here
--Cathy Vandewater, Vault.com