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A great year to be social

Written by Kimberley Startup | January 19, 2012 | 0 Comments

Finding a job in this economy is difficult enough. Add in to this mix the proliferation of social media sites and the job seekers task seems increasingly daunting.

But looking back at the online progression of recruitment in the past year there are plenty of opportunities for job seekers to use these platforms to ‘grab the bull by the horns’ and stand out in a crowded market.

It seems unbelievable that it was only six years ago that Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his back bedroom or that YouTube has only been around since 2005. Each of these platforms has become integral to our daily lives both in and out of work – I for one couldn’t live without them!

Social media has not only provided employers and jobseekers with another channel to use, but its ‘real time’ nature has added a new dimension and made the process much more transparent.

From a recruitment perspective, I’ve seen social networking make a huge impact in 2011, particularly for the smaller organisations that haven’t got the luxury of either large recruitment consultancies or advertising budgets.

Gone are the days when the only options a job seeker had were to upload their CV to a job board or sit down with a recruitment consultant. The development of digital and social media capabilities has moved this activity online and has in fact made recruitment a more social process.

During 2011, we have seen a move away from a ‘scattergun’ approach to recruitment. The old way of placing an advertisement on as many job boards as possible has been left behind and is being replaced with a far more integrated approach to sourcing talent.

We also saw the launch of the new social media channel, Google+, which became the fastest growing social network in history, reaching 10 million users in just 16 days (Twitter took 780 days and Facebook took 852 days).

For the coming year I foresee the role of social media playing an even bigger part in recruitment as organisations get more web-savvy. I expect Google+ will be the platform to watch because of two reasons.

Firstly, companies of all sizes are fast realising the effects of social media and so will be keen to adopt channels to build their brand. Secondly, it is heavily indexed by a search engine giant and as such, cannot be ignored.

From a graduate job seeker’s point of view, connecting and engaging with brands at this stage (as it’s still within its infancy since company pages were introduced recently) gives you the opportunity to be ahead of the game.

I think the class of 2012 should, if they haven’t already, be researching companies and making contact with the businesses they’d ideally want to work for at an early stage. Talk to business owners, engage with them and ask what skills they’re looking for. Perhaps as well this could give graduates a platform in which to develop certain skill sets, ensuring they are ready to go when they graduate.

My top tips for anyone job hunting in 2012 are:

– Take every opportunity to get work experience
– Monitor your social media presence – make sure potential employers can find the right information about you
– Keep your skills up-to-date
– Invest time in writing your CV – get help from a friend, professional or lecturer
– Job searching is a job itself so above all, remain positive.

 

This article was featured in Jobs & Careers magazine.

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