I’ve been stressing the ever-growing importance of a solid, favorable online presence in executive career management and job search for some years now. A May 14 article on CareerBuilder.com confirms just how important it is.
What do you think is the likely next step after a recruiter or hiring executive has taken a look at your well branded, high-impact executive resume? More often than not, he or she is going to Google your name and try to find you on social media.
There can be absolutely no doubt that social media recruitment and candidate research are on the rise, and there are no signs of a slowdown in the trajectory. According to CareerBuilder’s research, the majority of employers (52%) now use social networks to screen candidates. The national survey conducted by Harris Poll included more than 2,000 full-time U.S. hiring and HR managers in diverse industries and company sizes.
Fifty-six percent of recruiters want to see if a candidate has an online persona, while 37% look for what others are saying about a candidate. A disturbing 21% admit that they specifically look for reasons NOT to interview or hire.
The following industries were the heaviest users of online research to screen candidates: IT, Financial Services, Sales, Professional & Business Services, Manufacturing, Health Care, and Retail.
A full 48% of hiring managers and recruiters screening on social media confirm that they have discovered information that caused them to reject a candidate, with these being major killers:
- Inappropriate photographs
- Indications of drinking and drug use
- Speaking ill of a previous employer
- Demonstrated lack of communication skills
- Discriminatory comments
However, and I found this to be a key finding: About a third of respondents said they had found information that caused a favourable hiring decision, based on:
- Background information supporting qualifications
- Favourable indications of personality/culture fit
- A candidate’s site conveying a professional image
- Demonstration of great communication skills
- Evidence of creativity
Note number three: “A candidate’s site conveying a professional image.”
Not only does this mean that having a powerfully branded LinkedIn profile is a key component of your online strategy. It also confirms that a candidate’s online resume site is viewed favourably by recruiters who, when polled recently, indicated that a personal website was “the most impressive tool an applicant could have.” Yes, your executive resume is still an important and necessary career document. But it is becoming but one leg of a three-legged stool: Executive Resume – LinkedIn profile – Personal, Branded Resume Website/Portfolio.
Since 90% of first impressions are now made online (whether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, articles about you, or your personal website), representing yourself effectively on LinkedIn and ideally through an online resume/portfolio sets you apart from the competition—while giving you added control of your online image.
If you would like to learn more about optimizing your appeal in today’s executive job market, you can browse my posts here or contact me through my website at www.creativekeystrokes.com. Mention this post, and I will email you a complimentary copy of one of my executive career management e-reports on interviewing: Executive Guide to Getting the Job Offer.