Career Mantras

What Recruiters Look For In Your Social Profile and What You Should Do About It

Posted by:   Mahak Kewalramani Date:Oct 12, 2015

What Recruiters Look For In Your Social Profile and What You Should Do About It

 

Social media is no longer just to post your weekend pictures and share cat memes. Recruiters are jumping on the bandwagon too and they are scouring social media to scope out potential employees. According to a recent study by LinkedIn India, recruiters’ use of social professional networks as a source of quality hires has grown over 4 years to become the #1 source, at par with internet job boards. So it is imperative for you to understand what recruiters are looking for online, how this impacts your job search and what you need to do about it. 

                                                                               

Source: “2015 India Staffing Trends” published by LinkedIn
 

"Recruiters’ use of social professional networks as a source of quality hires has grown over 4 years to become the #1 source, at par with internet job boards"

 

What you know – Recruiters want to verify whether your online profile supports your resume. 
Where they look: Primarily your LinkedIn profile, though recruiters have also started looking at niche professional communities such as GitHub or StackOverflow for engineers, Dribbble or Behance for designers, AngelList for startups etc.
What you should do: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is comprehensive with a professional photo, headline, summary, employment history and education history. In addition to these basic details, enrich your profile by listing your awards, certifications, affiliations and volunteer work and by sharing your work samples and publications. Niche communities also give you an opportunity to demonstrate your skillsets and build credibility in your industry.

Whom you know – In today’s networked world, whom you know could be just as important as what you know, especially for Business Development profiles. Recruiters want to know whom you interact with and the relevance of your professional network increases with the seniority of your role. It also doesn’t hurt if you have employees from your target organizations in your network. Employers are more likely to recruit candidates if an existing employee can vouch for them.
Where they look: Primarily your LinkedIn and Facebook networks
What you should do: Connect with professionals and influencers in your industry. Use LinkedIn’s introduction feature to reach out employees in your target organizations. 

What others are saying about you – Recruiters have always relied on recommendation letters from references to add credibility to a candidate’s profile. These references are usually sought from the candidate specifically for this purpose and as such they may be biased. Social media widens up the scope so that recruiters can look not just at formal recommendations but also what unbiased third parties are speaking about the candidate.
Where they look: LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements, Google searches for your name, mentions on Twitter
What you should do: Monitor your digital footprint regularly by setting up a Google alert for your name. Request your supervisors, clients and past employers for recommendations.

Who you are outside work – Recruiters want to understand your personality and assess whether you would fit in to the organizational culture. 
Where they look: Your photographs, the pages you have liked, the topics you talk about, all give an insight into your personality. 
What you should do: Post updates that reflect your interests and abilities. Manage privacy settings so that personal updates and photos are kept hidden from people outside your immediate friends list. 

Red flags – Recruiters keep an eye out for any red flags on your social activity. This could include using profanity, provocative photographs, suggestion of drug usage or excessive alcohol consumption, mis-matches between resume and LinkedIn, bad-mouthing current/former employers or co-workers, sharing confidential employer information, discriminatory comments, poor spelling / grammar / communication skills, links to criminal behavior or strong political or religious affiliations.
Where they look: Your public profiles 
What you should do: Be mindful of what you are posting publicly. A rule of thumb to follow is that if it is something you would not discuss with your boss or colleagues at the office, then it is probably best to not post it publicly.

Green flags – Though not absolutely essential to get hired, employers definitely see it as a positive sign if you have been engaging with their organization on social media. It is also a good sign if you have been engaging with thought leaders in the industry, participating in industry forums, blogging and posting content related to your field.
Where they look: LinkedIn, Twitter, Klout, Quora
What you should do: Follow your target companies on social media and interact with their posts (though be careful not to cross the line into trolling). Engage with thought leaders on Twitter. Blog and share content and participate in discussions related to your domain on Quora and in LinkedIn groups. These activities will build your professional brand as an influencer in your domain.

 

Even if you are not an active job-seeker as of now, remember that how you present yourself on social media now could impact your job search in the future as well. So it is best to exercise prudence and use the power of social media to build a reputed professional brand for yourself.


About the Author:

Mahak Kewalramani

Mahak Kewalramani handles strategic initiatives at JobMantras.com. She has over 7 years experience in Project Management, Product Management and Business Consulting, with a focus on Technology and Digital Marketing. Mahak is a Dean's List MBA student from the SP Jain Center of Management and holds a B.E. from Mumbai University. She is an avid reader, inquisitive traveler, yoga enthusiast and social media junkie.

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