How the shift from traditional hiring to the use of Internet-based candidate screening has affected every job seeker

If you’ve been careless about your posts on Twitter or Facebook, sometimes neglecting to censor some controversial opinion or a shady photo, it is time to rethink about your Internet activities. With social media searches playing a huge role in today’s recruitment scene, in particular those photo uploads on Facebook after a big party night out on the town can really affect you when recruiters and hiring managers are searching you. Branding yourself online if not private needs to be with caution in the employment market.

Today, a growing number of hiring managers and HR executives use various social networking sites to screen job seekers. In fact, in a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, one of the most trusted source for job opportunities and advice, globally, around 70 percent of employers utilize social media to check on the candidates’ background before they proceed further with the hiring process or the job offer.

Social media recruitment is rather a new concept but tons of companies are embracing its power and it started over a decade ago but is more and more common with technology embracing our everyday routine in the work and personal life. According to career builder, they have found a better fit for their hires simply by checking out the applicants’ Internet profiles on Facebook. For them, it is the rawest platform where they can find the true personality and character of a person, stuff that are usually not told in a traditional resume. From how an individual spends his leisure time to how he communicates in the comment section, HR managers find it interesting to find a new perspective on a person’s reputation.

It is apparent that hiring through social media is here to stay, whether we like it or not. That is why it is essential for you to strengthen your presence online and to brand yourself to get the right message across to your potential employer. Now how do you leverage on your personal branding online? Here are our tips.

  • Update all your social media accounts. If you have old accounts you created back in high school that contain embarrassing material, delete them right away. You don’t want your future employer to see those. Check on the information you published in Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and make sure that they reflect how you want to be perceived by the online community.
  • Google yourself. Yes, it may sound egotistic! but checking your name through a search engine will actually help you discover where else you can be found online. If you are mentioned in an article, check on the content and make sure that they have a positive impact on you. Otherwise, request the creator not to mention you. It may take a while for Google to update this change, but trust me, it will be worth it.
  • Watch out for your privacy settings. Never publicly share your opinion especially on topics like religion, politics, and other sensitive global issues. Set your posts to Friends Only to be safe; better yet, keep your opinions in your journal (set in private too!)
  • Screen all of your tagged photos so that they don’t automatically show on your social media profiles. You can do this by going to your Settings and checking on the “Only Me” button to ensure that no one else can see your party pictures and the like.

Back then, HR executives use cold calling to screen their prospective employees. However, it took a lot of their time and effort to find the right candidate. But with social media, recruiters can save a lot of time and money and weed out candidates that do not match their requirements easily.

What do you think of social media recruitment? Leave your comments below.

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