Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 11 2012

Your Career Is Counting On Your Social Media Profiles

By David McMillin, Staff Writer

It looks like just about everyone would consider a career change. A new survey from California-based social recruiting company, Jobvite, shows that 75 percent are actively looking for or open to a new job.

However, many of these people aren't confident that they will find one. The survey uncovered that 1/3 of respondents feel less optimistic about finding a new job than a year ago, and 2/3 of them believe the job search has become increasingly challenging.

To overcome the hurdles of finding a new job, many people are turning to their online networks of friends and colleagues. If you're considering a career move, here are three key questions to answer about your personal online presence.

1) Is One Online Profile Enough?

Networking doesn't just happen on LinkedIn. While the site known for professional networking is certainly part of the equation, the survey revealed that Facebook is the number one social network for job seekers. Twitter plays a role, too, with 34 percent of respondents using the short-message platform in their job searches.

"With the influx of people using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter daily, it's become an imperative for job seekers to actively join as many networks as possible in order to stay up to speed with their fellow job hunters," Dan Finnigan, President & CEO, Jobvite, says. "Traditional methods of searching for employment still apply, but the technology wave has taken over and the verticals job seekers are using most now are these social networks."

Creating accounts is not enough, either. Even if you aren't actively looking for a new job, Finnigan recommends keeping all of your information current across your entire portfolio of social media profiles.

2) Are Potential Employers Really Going to Look at Your Profile?

Jobvite has conducted additional research that indicates just how important it is to keep your profiles professional: 86 percent of recruiters are likely to look at social profiles of job candidates.

"A good rule of thumb is to never post something you wouldn't want your grandmother to read," Finnigan says. "Job seekers should always post or tweet content with the assumption that a future employer may read it."

Your membership in PCMA and other associations can help distinguish you in the eyes of a potential employer, too. Eighty percent of recruiters indicate that they like to see social content about participation in professional organizations.

3) Can You Do It All From Behind the Screen?

Social networking is a big component of finding success in your job search, but it's only one piece of the puzzle.

"There is no replacement for face-to-face interaction," Finnigan says. "You will need to meet potential colleagues and managers at the company where you hope to be employed."

Still, sending messages, friend requests and tweets can be the first step toward an in-person conversation.

"More and more people are using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to facilitate the initial connection with recruiters and employers," Finnigan says.

For a real-life example of the power of combining online connections with face-to-face networking, check out how PCMA member Bill Lemmon found his latest career opportunity.

Looking for a new job? Visit the PCMA Career Center for the latest openings in the industry.

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