Social Media is the number one web activity at the moment, so it’s no wonder recruiters and candidates alike have turned to it to find job roles and fill their vacancies. It can be a fantastic way to job hunt but candidates need to beware of the pitfalls of using Social Media to find work. Here are The Pros and Cons of Social Recruiting:
Pro: Networking opportunities
If you are a LinkedIn member you probably know how vast the networking opportunities are online. You can search and connect with professionals in your field, target people within specific companies and follow specialist recruitment firms in order to be the first to hear about new vacancies! The possibilities don’t stop there, you can follow companies on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and even platforms like Meerkat and Snapchat to keep in the loop of their opportunities! Don’t limit your Social Media activity to holiday pictures and chatting with old School friends, it’s time to spider out and maximise your opportunity for a new job role!
Con: Your history is visible
Social Media leaves a digital imprint of what you do online so if you’re embarrassed of your past it could work against you. The Facebook Timeline makes it easy for people to jump back in time when ‘researching’ your profile, and bearing in mind most of us have been on Facebook for 10 years there’s a strong chance you will have things on that you’d rather your potential boss not see! Make sure to have a ‘clear up’ of anything you’re not happy for people to see and edit your privacy settings if required!
Pro: It shows off your personality
Your CV and cover letter is a fantastic way to showcase your skills, qualifications and experience for a new job role. Obviously these things are all really important for an employer but they will also want to make sure you will fit into the company and its current employees. A quick look at your Social Media profiles can show an employer how you look and portray yourself online, what your hobbies are, content and topics you’re interested and recent places you have visited. This is a great way to paint a picture of what your like to your future boss!
Con: It can show you in a negative light
While a quick look at your profile can paint a picture of what an interesting, cultured and popular person you are it can also have the opposite effect. If you have hundreds of drunk / embarrassing photos on there, statuses with profanities or offensive comments or even tagged photos of an inappropriate nature it can seriously damage your chances of being invited to an interview. The trick is to not do any of these things! Treat social media like a work environment – don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see!
Pro: It’s a great way to research a company
One of the first places candidates will look at when researching a company is their own website – this will give you an overview of their history and work they do. It doesn’t always however tell you much about the company culture and its employees! Social Media usually gives you a more relaxed, personal and realistic approach of what it will be like to work for that company. You will have up to date news delivered right to your feed (including new vacancies) so make sure to like / follow companies you are interested in working for!
Con: Your personal network can work against you
Often when employers look you up on Social Media they will see if you have any mutual friends or followers in common etc. If they are a local organisation chances are there will be some people you both know, and if for example you know a lot of people working for their competitor it could be off putting to them. Chances are this won’t cause you too many problems but what your network of friends tags you in can be a problem. Facebook is full of offensive / embarrassing pictures – if a friend happens to tag you in one it will appear on your profile. Don’t trust your friends not to do this? Change your settings to review any tags before they appear on your profile!
Sophie Heaton (Digital Campaign Manager)