Let's say you are applying for a new job. You have a professional resume, a complete LinkedIn profile, letters of recommendation and you have lots of experience for the position you are applying to. You fill out the job application perfectly, enclose a thoughtful, personalized cover letter and you wait to be called in for an interview.
But the call never comes. What could have happened?
The way companies hire has changed over the past few years. Gone are the days of posting an ad for hire in the Sunday newspaper and waiting for job applications to come in the (snail) mail. Organizations now have Monster, Ladders, Recruiter, ZipRecruiter and other dot coms, which they feel makes the process quicker and easier.
According to a study from the September 2015 study done by the Society for Human Resource Management, 57% of companies hired from LinkedIn, 19% from Facebook, 8% from Twitter and 65% of companies used some form of social media to hire.
A most surprising statistic is that one out of five organizations use Facebook to hire. So while you may think your Facebook doesn't matter, it really does. Many hiring managers regularly check perspective applicant's social media for consistency, as well as getting a glimpse into their personal lives. And that glimpse sometimes eliminates an otherwise qualified candidate.
That same 2015 study indicated that applicants displayed salacious photos and information about themselves 50% of the time, information about soliciting drugs or alcohol 48% of the time, spoke poorly of their previous employer 33% of the time, and 24% actually lied about their qualifications.
For many perspective applicants the call for the job interview never comes because of what they posted on their personal social media. But, if you don't use much social media personally, or have a private Facebook account, or only show pictures of yourself going to church every Sunday and spending your free time feeding the homeless - the call for the job interview still doesn't come. What are you missing?
The answer may lie in your lack of a personal brand. It's that extra something special companies are looking for in an applicant, which makes you stand out from others with similar qualifications.
When a company is sitting on a large pile of very qualified applicants, they will reach out to your social media to learn more about you and see what kind of person they are buying. What are your interests and skills outside of your professional resume that will make you that outstanding performer they are looking for?
Here are 5 top tips for creating a desirable personal brand that will get you noticed and called in for the job interview you want:
1. beBee: beBee is a new social network, LinkedIn's first competitor and fast becoming the go-to source for networking. What makes it better than LinkedIn is that all features are free and it allows you to combine your professional resume with your personal interests, creating your unique personal brand. Include a link to your beBee profile in your application and your perspective employer will get a glimpse of the whole you. You will stand out in a crowded application process and that may be just the edge you need to get that job interview.
2. Completed Social Media Accounts: Make sure you have accurate and up-to-date LinkedIn, beBee, Facebook and Twitter profiles. Incomplete profiles will surely get you rejected from a job you are applying to. On beBee, make sure you show all of your personal interests. People like to be with or connect with people with the same interests. A hiring manager may decide you are the right candidate because you are into photography and running and they are too or they have had good success with candidates who have those interests.
3. Match Up Your Profiles: Make sure your resume, LinkedIn, beBee, Facebook and Twitter information match exactly. Inconsistencies in your profiles are the number one reason to be rejected from a job.
4. Keep It Clean, Safe and Open: Hiring managers search all your social media. No bad language, defamatory or racist statements, scandalous info or photos, complaining about the last job, whining or politics. Yes politics are a no-no. If your hiring manager is a Hillary supporter and you are posting "Make America Great Again", you're most likely done. And if you keep your Facebook private, they may choose the candidate whose Facebook is open and they can see what kind of person they are.
5. Professional Profile Pictures: Like it or not, what you look like matters. So make yourself look as attractive as possible by getting a professional photographer to take your head-shot for LinkedIn, beBee, and Twitter. And never post a salacious profile picture, even on Facebook.
It's very hard to find a new job these days. It's even hard to just get a job interview, if you are not using social media to add your personal brand to your professional resume. You now have five tips make that happen today and make yourself the one they want.