In the last couple of years, recruitment, from the company perspective, and job searching, from the individual’s perspective, have changed drastically. With technology as the primary driver for this change, social media has become both a wonderful tool and an unforeseen burden.
There are many books, videos, and training seminars dedicated to leveraging social media from both sides of the recruitment equation. It is not my intention to duplicate this effort. The purpose of this article is to help you avoid the social media blind spot and enhance your behind-the-scenes image.
Clean Your Closet Before Anyone Opens the Door!
It is no secret, the role of hiring managers, HR professionals, and professional recruitment personnel is becoming more and more critical as the global business marketplace becomes more and more competitive. Every hire made by these individuals counts, and they know it. You can rest assured, they will check out the social media platforms of any and all prospective candidates before a hiring decision is made. Often, HR professionals, hiring managers, and especially professional recruiters will check out the social media of prospective candidates before they even consider reaching out. What does this mean? You can make of break your career before you even know what is going on! Your late night Facebook post of dinner with the family or your best buddy’s bachelor party may impact whether you hear about your first executive position or the job of your dreams.
Yes, most social media platforms have tools to help users preserve their privacy. However, these are not bullet proof; are you willing to bet your career on the success of these tools? While I respect the need of many people to maintain separate professional and personal lives, it is safe to assume if you add content to a social media platform, it’s fair game – FOREVER! Clean your closet and do not add content you would not share with your Priest or your Mother, your career depends on it.
Consistency is King!
Have you ever interviewed a candidate for a position when their resume said one thing and their LinkedIn profile said something else, then their Facebook profile said something completely different? Sometimes there is a viable explanation, but with the evolution of recruitment, it is the job of the hiring manager, the HR professional, and the professional recruiter to shoot holes in your candidacy. If they sense something isn’t right, fabrication of information, or someone who doesn’t care enough about their career to update a resume with accurate information, the individual in question will definitely not have an opportunity to interview, or even explain their situation.
Avoid this conflict by taking 30 minutes to ensure all information on your LinkedIn profile, other social media, and your resume match precisely. This includes mediums you may not check regularly, or at all. I have seen an executive passed over because he did not update Facebook information with his present employer. The hiring authority thought if he truly cared about his employer and their stakeholders, he would have removed employment information altogether or proudly flown the flag of his present employer. Whether you agree with this ideology or not, it exists and will, undoubtedly, impact your career.
Check your dates and ensure the same employers and positions are represented accurately on your resume and social media. If you do this once a year, whether you are looking for a job or not, it will only add value to your career image.
Your Network = Your Net Worth
You may have heard the expression your network equals your net worth. While I do not agree with this statement wholeheartedly, there is merit to the concept.
Once you have cleaned your closet and verified consistency for your career image, take the opportunity to surround yourself with people whose careers you would like to emulate and those along the path of the career of your dreams. While it may be difficult for you to procure a meeting with the CEO at the Fortune 500 company down the street, it isn’t hard to humbly invite this individual to join your network on LinkedIn. Many executives, hiring managers, HR professionals, and executive search consultants are open to expanding their network. Just as you never know when you may need to as for a favor, they expect the unexpected and proactively surround themselves with career oriented individuals who are capable of helping them turn the ship in a time of need.
Does this mean you need 1,000 friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms, and you need to stay up with all of the latest business and personal social media sites? No. I am merely stating, after 10 years in Executive Search, I can tell you, with confidence, you will have a brighter career if you clean your closet, maintain consistency in your career image, and if you surround yourself with power players. If you follow these three simple steps, opportunity will come knocking!
Stark Lane, Inc. is one of the most influential Executive Search Firms within the American Healthcare market. With a search focus spanning from Private Equity to the top US News and World Report Health Systems, and a reach that touches all 50 states and American joint ventures abroad, whether your organization is searching for industry leading talent or you are considering a career change, Stark Lane can help.