Even if you are not a Millennial who embraced social media early on and have spent a decade on Facebook or other social media accounts, the challenge is to appear professional and proactive. Potential job candidates are now being judged for more than their work history and references, said Jean Dobey, CEO of Hibe.com, a micro-social-media platform in Montreal. With recruiters increasingly scrutinizing applicants' online personas, those on the job hunt must learn to adapt their personal social media presence, he said.
Job seekers should start by entering their name into a search engine, which can be an eye-opening experience, he said. The information found on Google could be all a recruiter needs to cross you off their list. A recent CareerBuilder survey showed that 48% of hiring managers use Google or other search engines to research candidates.
One way to ensure that you have a good profile is to make sure you are active. Engaging on social media not only allows you to connect with industry peers and demonstrate your level of expertise, but posting on a regular basis and contributing to relevant discussions can help you gain credibility and visibility, Dobey said.
"It will go a long way to impressing potential employers," he said. "Remaining inactive, blocking your posts or staying away from social media altogether can give recruiters the impression that you might have something to hide. There's no better way of being in the know then by connecting with the right industry players."
If you can pinpoint the companies where you would like to work, start by following the profiles of the companies and join LinkedIn groups and Twitter chats related to your industry which can help you obtain quality contacts who could share job opportunities in relevant groups.