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Can Social Media Make Or Break You Landing The Job?

01.21.14   |   Job Search & Career   |   Chelsey Canavan, Marketing Manager at Treeline, Incorporated

Liam Neeson in Taken Meme: I don't know who you are...but I will look you up on LinkedIn and I will find you

Job seekers, I know that you have probably already received endless advice on social media. You read articles on how to set up social media sites, how to create a personal brand, which sites you should be using, and what you should, and more importantly should not, be sharing on social media sites.

You’re told that potential employers are searching for you on social media sites and that it can make or break you landing an interview, so since we work in the recruiting space we decided to conduct our own survey. We reached out to our extensive network of hiring managers to find out how social media plays into the hiring process.

The purpose of the survey was to help to determine if hiring managers use social technologies to screen and qualify potential candidates after receiving a resume. The survey consisted on 3 multiple choice questions in no particular order and the answers were anonymous.

The first question asked if hiring managers prefer to connect with a person with or without a profile picture. And the answer was nearly split, 47% answered that they prefer to connect with people who have a profile picture and 53% answered that a profile picture did not matter.

The second question asked if hiring managers search social sites to find a candidate after receiving a resume. Those who answered yes (82%) outweighed those who answered no (18%).

The third and final question asked hiring managers which social media sites they use when looking up a potential candidate. There were four options listed which were LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google + (not to say these are the only sites uses).  The majority of the responses (88%) said they used LinkedIn, 6% selected Facebook, 6% said Google + and 0 chose Twitter.

These findings were interesting and do not ultimately decide the weight social media plays into the entire interview process nor do they state that all hiring managers use social media. These findings do, however, give job seekers a greater understanding of how social media is used in pre-qualifying candidacy.

So what should job seekers take away from this research?

1. Hiring managers are using social media in the interview process

2. LinkedIn is one of the more prevalent social media sites hiring managers use when searching for candidates

3. Profile pictures are not the determining factor in connecting, but are almost equally preferred

In conclusion, social media is used by hiring managers and does play into considering potential candidates. As a result, candidates should take advantage of these sites and be aware of the fact that even though social media may not be the ultimate deciding factor in being moved through an interview process, they should be aware that hiring managers are searching for candidates on these sites. Job seekers, make sure you have a strong social media profile and that there are no discrepencies between your submitted resume and your online profiles.

Find out how you can make your LinkedIn profile the ultimate landing page for your job search.

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