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Who's Googling You: Leveraging Social Media for the Job Search

Who's Googling You: Leveraging Social Media for the Job Search



This presentation was created in June 2013 as a tool for educating undergraduate students about using social media in their job hunt.

This presentation was created in June 2013 as a tool for educating undergraduate students about using social media in their job hunt.



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  • What do you do when you first meet someone [generally people will say Facebook / Google them].
  • What are you looking for when you search someone online? To get to know who they are and how they represent themselves.
  • Have you Googled yourself? That’s assignment #1 if you haven’t. And don’t worry--you can decide what they will find. You can beat Google. The more positive “branded” presence you have on the web, the better the chance you have of controlling your online resume.
  • Likely they won’t actually think you are a psychopath, as this Mashable article proclaims. However, there is some concern, especially in certain professions, when an employer can’t find anything about you online. Being able to have a professional online presence is a necessary skill today—we are all selling ourselves in this market.
  • This number has increased since 2010, but a similar study hasn’t been conducted. Reputational data is the center of recruiting today, as it is a rich source that saves time in culling our “bad apples” early in the process. Don’t be a bad apple!
  • These are the kinds of things that recruiters look for and see as positive or negative in a social networking profile. Note that Spelling / Grammar is perceived as being MORE negative than pictures of alcohol consumption. Your presence online is a reflection of you… Additionally, any positive information you can spread about yourself that wouldn’t normally make a traditional resume is welcome to recruiters here.
  • Note how early they are looking at the reputational data. You may never know that you have been “reviewed” as half the time it’s happening before any conversation with a prospective employee.
  • The numbers are increasing each year for employers actively recruiting on social networks, with LinkedIn being the highest. LinkedIn is a “no-brainer” as it’s essentially an online resume that you “set and forget” until something changes with your job history. This is a way to connect to colleagues along the way as you move through your career, guaranteeing that they will be able to find you down the road, when they realize you are the “perfect person” for the job someone just told them about.
  • There are significant problems in recruiting and screening potential employees using social media. Legally, they aren’t supposed to ask certain questions of you (race, age, marital status, etc.), but those things can be readily apparent in some social media profiles. The question about the legality of this practice has not been tackled, and certainly not resolved. Until it is, it’s going to happen. This recent issue over employers asking for social media passwords to review the unrestricted profiles of potential employees seems to have been addressed at this point, with legislation before congress to ban it. Employers will always use every avenue they have to assess future employees. Hiring the “wrong” person is a costly prospect, and it makes these avenues of information overwhelmingly tempting.
  • Addressing that pressing need to find employees that are good investments, employers will look for referrals from current employees. They report that it shortens the hiring time and the quality of candidates is higher. Additionally, it allows them to recruit to ‘passive’ candidates—those that aren’t on the market, but are already doing the work. Yet another way of getting a higher quality candidate if they are already successfully at work.
  • Pushing from the other side, job seekers are finding success using social networking tools to find jobs. Again, LinkedIn being the most common, likely because it is most focused on this exact type of networking.
  • And it’s all working. People are actually getting jobs doing this. Remarkably this Market Wire study found that by far they are crediting Facebook. This is converse to the idea about getting jobs from the “professional” social networks. Perhaps because people are actually connected in a “real” way over Facebook, making referrals and recommendations more likely?
  • So what do you do? How do you take advantage of this? Find a “brand name” and stick with it. Use your middle name or initial. Whatever you do, use it repeatedly. This is how you get a good search result when someone googles your name. Use your industry consistently when describing yourself in your online networks you create. That way if you have a common name, people can identify you on the search. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, & Google+ all pop to the top of a search quickly. If you really want to get advanced about it, create a website that contains your name (http://amandaclaypowers.com). That generally will have enough SEO (search engine optimization) juice to push all the way up to the top. This is about you controlling your identity online. You make your own choices, don’t let your online reputation just happen to you.
  • These are the kinds of qualities to think about emphasizing when creating your online presence and create a positive online interview! In LinkedIn, it’s possible for people to leave “recommendations” for you if you ask them to. This is immediate information from an outside source that a potential employer can see.
  • [You can replace these with screenshots of your own social media presence, if that works better for you…] Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn are all sites you can keep professionally targeted, that generally don’t have the baggage that Facebook carries—particularly as it’s against FB’s terms of service to have more than one profile per individual. That said, it is possible to arrange Facebook, manipulating privacy settings and adding content about work history, etc. that will present a professional view to anyone doing a search and finding your Facebook page. It’s also possible to create “public” posts (by not restricting the audience in your status update) that can be seen and can represent the kind of professional portrait you would like to create. Just mix posts in with your normal Facebook activity that demonstrate your talents, skills, breadth and depth of information and interests. For Twitter, you can create a profile that does the same—in fact, you can post to Twitter and have it cross post to your FB page. That way you are only posting these professional updates once. It’s difficult at times to come up with the information to post, however! For that, you will need to be “ingesting” information from relevant sources in your field. You can find these on Twitter, Facebook, or in blog posts that you can link to—this way your can be perceived as an asset.
  • This has only increased. Again, there may be issues with legality, but depending on your professional environment, you may be monitored actively or passively online. You reflect on your employer (or have the potential to negatively reflect on your employer) in ways they cannot control and that are very public. This provides the impetus for this sort of monitoring.
  • You are in a unique position as students right now. You will be entering the workforce and dealing with people with varying fluency with technology. All of them will use email. Email is the professional business letter of today, and it must be treated as such in the workplace. Emails on your work account are not your property—they are the property of your employer and can be reviewed and even used in court cases. You must be fluent in all types of interactions, proving yourself expert in all communication venues. It makes your generation remarkable bridges for communication. As nurses, even more so.
  • Look around at others in your field and see what they are doing. Develop a “best practices” idea and first steps for the implementation.
  • Find out what the parameters are for you in your profession and in your organization.
  • There are ways to use social media that aren’t about being on social media. With Twitter you can create an information stream that brings the news/resources/people you want directly to you. You can also network and even investigate future employers, eavesdropping or participating in relevant conversations with stakeholders. It may be a good idea to listen before you start talking. Always wise to have something to bring to a conversation…it’s no longer about what you “had for breakfast.”

Who's Googling You: Leveraging Social Media for the Job Search Who's Googling You: Leveraging Social Media for the Job Search Presentation Transcript