Even in a healthy economy, qualified job seekers often struggle with reaching recruiters and human resource professionals due to in part to the increasing number of job applications from unqualified candidates. The average recruiter spends just 6 seconds viewing a resume and many job seekers get passed over because they didn't fully articulate their skills and qualifications for the specific job opening.
Even in a Great Economy the Hiring Process is Challenging
A recent report from Workopolis, shares that only 2% of candidates who apply for roles receive a job interview, but social media is the great job search equalizer. Job candidates are often surprised at which social media platforms are popular with recruiters, and the with which frequency that recruiters, HR and hiring managers use them to connect with candidates, work to fill job openings for high priority openings and share information about their company with a targeted pocket of prospective job candidates.
There's a huge disconnect between job seekers and HR leaders which is why I'll be at the SXSW Job Market Stage on Sunday, March 13, 2016, for a Dual Speaker Session titled, Resumes Suck! 7 Ways to Land a Job in Social Media.
Social Media Job Search Tips from HR Experts
HR and recruiting experts like myself agree that a good social media strategy not only improves the likelihood that you will interview for a job opening but also increases your ability to connect with employers to better understand if your personal and professional values align with the company. This is why I reached out to 15 of my peers in HR and recruiting to share with you how to best leverage social media in your job search.
"Joining "interactive" sessions with an employer like #AskATTJobs is a great way to get information and interact with recruiters." - Jennifer Tharp, Executive Director of Talent Attraction at AT&T
"With social media we are all living in a digital fishbowl today. Every breathe you take is seen, heard and felt across all of these mediums and employers are paying attention. Set your privacy and content settings right." - Philip Newman, Head of Talent Strategy at Home Depot
"LinkedIn.com/alumni is the best kept secret in social! It gives you a glimpse of what people with your emphasis of study are doing now. Most alumni are more than happy to connect." - Dina Mederios, Head of Global Sales & Strategy at LinkedIn
"Have an opinion. Put a viewpoint out on topic(s) for your industry. Network, meet people, and just have fun." - Eric Tung, Digital Recruiting Evangelist at BMC Software
"Social media during a job search is a gold mine! Be confident in your personal brand. Think twice before posting anything, and then let social media feed you with possibilities and opportunities." - Meghan M. Biro, CEO of Talent Culture
"Within your profile tell people what you're actually looking for and provide multiple ways they can track you down - including cell phone number to text you. Have a freaking personality, don't be so scrubbed that you look like a robot." - Tim Sackett, President at HRU Technical Resources
"Never apply before first searching for employees on social media that either previously worked in a company you worked for or graduated from the same school you did. Then call them and get them to be your employee referral. This will increase your chances by 14 times." - Gerry Crispin, Co-Founder of CareerXroads
"Social Media is just the gym, you still have to do the heavy lifting and close the deal in real time" - Andres Traslavina, Global Recruiting Manager at Whole Foods Markets
"Keyword tag your LinkedIn profile. Many people don't know that if they use keywords and key phrases throughout their LI profile, especially those that recruiters will search for, they increase their likelihood of being found." - Lida Citroen, Principal at Lida360 and International Personal Branding Expert
"The most memorable candidates for me are those who are just nice. Nice in what way? Well, they reach out and respond politely. They say thanks for the offer, even if they are not interested in the role I reached out to them for." - Kristin Rogers, ExtendMyStaff
"Social media is great for FINDING people, not being found. When you find your networking target, DO NOT EMAIL THEM. Pick up the phone and call them." - Rob Dromgoole, Director of Talent Acquisition at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
"Create a graphical representation of your resume in PowerPoint, title it with the keywords you want to be known for, upload to SlideShare and post to your LinkedIn profile. Splash your core message on the first slide." - Craig Fisher, Head of Employment Branding for CA Technologies
"Social media is a straight-up career locksmith - it opens doors to hiring managers - aka people who were previously unreachable. Not only can a job seeker connect with their prospective future boss, but they can soak up invaluable employment content. Often there are specific hashtag campaigns for employees to share their stories - the real experiences that were previously only available in private conversations." - Bryan Chaney, Head of Employment Branding at Indeed
"Build relationships with recruiters through social by discovering and sharing relevant info that we find interesting." - Michael Goldberg, Head of Talent Acquisition at American Heart Society
"Use it to engineer serendipity with employees at those companies at coffee shops, movie theaters, etc. I just did it earlier this evening to get access to an investor that I've been trying to meet." - Ravi Mickelsen, Co-Founder and CEO of JobFig
My best advice when it comes to using social media in the job search is this, "Do your research and meaningfully connect with hiring managers and recruiters. Find creative ways to build relationships, like serving as a source of candidate referrals for them."
Social Media is About Relationships
Meaningful connections are what makes social media a great platform to network, reach and engage especially with professionals who are outside of your personal and professional social circles. Most importantly, don't underestimate the amount of information you can learn about recruiters and the companies they represent to customize your approach and help you determine they are a company worth investing the time to interview and ultimately as your employer.