Multiple variables contribute to a successful job search, and most job seekers today understand the relevance of social media profiles as a key factor, especially since more than 90 percent of recruiters use social media for recruiting.
The words recruiting and social media generally bring to mind LinkedIn as the social media platform of choice when it comes to job search and recruiting. True, it is the largest professional networking site, and recruiters do use it for job postings and proactively sourcing candidates. You can’t afford to not keep your LinkedIn profile as current and relevant as your resume. Most companies now also request a link to your LinkedIn profile on online job applications.
But what about other social media profiles, like Facebook; how important are they in your job search?
Facebook users commonly think of Facebook as a fun platform for engaging with family and friends. However, the site has changed more and more since its inception to also become, for instance, a site for access to news and media updates. According to a Pew Research report, more than two-thirds of Facebook users get their news via the social media platform. That’s a whopping large number of people, considering nearly 1.8 billion people have Facebook accounts.
Facebook is no longer just a place to keep in touch and playfully engage with personal contacts, as was even further evidenced by the political conversations taking place on the site before and after the most recent presidential election.
Not surprisingly, with its larger number of users, Facebook may soon be playing a larger role in the job recruiting space. The social media company will have a vast number of people to present job ads to, but more importantly, the company will also have detailed and personal information on you that could potentially feed into a recruiting platform, making it more important than ever to exercise caution on what you say and post online.
Some companies already provide fields on online applications for your Facebook link. Additionally, savvy recruiters also check multiple social media profiles, including Facebook, when researching candidates.
It might seem like common sense, but many job seekers, aren’t as careful with Facebook profiles, often making posts and photos public that should be kept private and giving recruiters an opportunity to peek into personal lives that would otherwise be private in a job interview. Guard against this by carefully customizing privacy settings on Facebook and other social media sites and never sharing anything that could impact an employer or potential employer’s perception of you.
Although it may be some time before Facebook reveals any certain plans to join the ranks of companies such as LinkedIn as a recruiting source, keep in mind that many recruiter do view your Facebook profile as a source for gauging character and behavior. It may be wise to follow the sage advice: If you don’t have anything nice to say (post), don’t say anything at all.