In light of current economic conditions and the increased number of people looking for a job, employers are being forced to re-evaluate and adapt their “traditional” hiring process. Today, job-seekers are not only facing the challenge of finding a job for which they are qualified, but also trying to find a way to stand out among other qualified applicants.
At the end of the day it’s often the skilled candidate, who also demonstrates a legitimate enthusiasm for the position, who wins out. Until recent years, the only significant chance for a job-seeker to communicate this enthusiasm was in the usually brief face-to-face interview. The online world has changed this.
Through blogs, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a plethora of others, job seekers can be in a constant state of communicating enthusiasm for their field, and employers are taking full advantage.
“Recently we were reviewing applicants for a position in my department,” says Mike Pacchione, a career advisor at The Art Institute of Portland. “After weeding the applicants down to three, we were undecided between two of them and thought we’d Google them to help make our decision. We tried to read up on the first candidate. All we could find was an incomplete LinkedIn profile. There was nothing else. Then we turned to the second candidate. Her LinkedIn profile had people raving about her. Person after person described her as being unselfish, dedicated and enthusiastic. A former colleague called her an amazing co-worker and person. In short, she sounded exactly like the type of person we wanted to hire. So we did.”
What may hurt is the significant impact that unmonitored tweets, posts and uploads can have on their professional goals.
It is becoming standard for companies to investigate potential employees’ online profiles before making a final decision. A survey conducted by Microsoft in December 2009 reports that 70 percent of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on online reputational information. Swearing, posting party photos, talking poorly about work – all of these things give recruiters an excuse to weed you out of the job search.
With the popularity and global acceptance of social media, the fine line between professional and personal life has been demolished. It is pivotal for job seekers to evaluate the message they are communicating online.
All in all, when in the job search, candidates would be wise to listen to what Seth Godin, social media guru and author of “The Purple Cow” likes to say: “Google never forgets.” That can be a good or bad thing.