More employers using social media in job search

By Emery Mason Campbell

Social media has been a revolutionary platform for people to stay connected with one another, but with the increase in companies using social media to screen future employees, candidates should be aware of what they are posting.

Theresa Spencer from the Stuckert Career Center spoke Tuesday with students about using social media in a professional way for job searches.

More companies are using social media to screen candidates and are using the information they get off their candidates’ profiles to select their hires.

The presentation pointed out that more than half of companies — 55 percent — look at a candidate’s Facebook page before hiring him or her, and a little less than half — 45 percent — look at Twitter pages.

The discussion showed that 1 in 4 companies is now hiring through Facebook referrals, and engineering, sales and marketing jobs have been the most sought-after jobs through the use of social media platforms.

Spencer said that future candidates should be aware of what they are posting and use simple and effective tips to secure that one’s profile will not be seen in a negative light.

When it comes to one’s Facebook page, make sure the “About Me” section is completed and has all of the up-to-date information on it, she said.

Job candidates should also “like” and engage targeted companies and share information with them.

“This has led to many candidates being interviewed and hired,” Spencer said.

Facebook applications such as BranchOut and BeKnown are other tools to use for enhancing a page and letting companies see one’s professional side.

“I didn’t know that Facebook had apps such as BranchOut and BeKnown, and I’m glad that I was informed and can now use these,” said Maggie Schwarb, an integrated strategic communication senior.

Twitter also can be used to find targeted jobs or job openings by using the hashtag phrase #LexingtonJobs.

Some other tips for Twitter include following industries that one is interested in and engage with those industries by retweeting their posts and tweeting back and forth with those companies.

Also put an “elevator pitch” in the bio on Twitter, and post a link to an online resume. That way, when companies look at it they will be able to see a more professional side of someone.

“I thought it was a great idea to have a link to your online resume on your Twitter bio, that way a company that is looking to hire you can have a direct link to it,” Courtney Pflug, an integrated strategic communication senior, said.

Since companies are using social media as a major part of their hiring processes, no one wants his or her profile to come off as unprofessional or candid.

“Most importantly it’s about your visibility in a professional, engaging light,” Spencer said.