Social media has taken over every sphere of our life. Our personal and social lives notwithstanding, even our professional lives are now governed by social media, to a large extent. In mid-2013, Jobvite.com asked over 800 employers if they were using or planning to use social media for their recruiting, and this is the result - 94% of employers said they were!
Social media is used in a number of ways in the process of recruitment. It helps recruiters have a more clear idea of who you are and what you have done before they even talk with you. It helps them shortlist potential candidates. They also pick up clues about your personality and how you might fit into the organization's culture.
While there are a number of social media networks nowadays, LinkedIn has continued to dominate social networks used for recruiting. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network where millions of professionals connect. This platform provides the largest opportunity to market yourself and expand your personal network. Your LinkedIn profile provides a visible, online resume that your contacts, including potential employers, can view. A completed profile makes you 40 times more likely to receive job offers.
It is important to be careful about using social media in general, as it is a reflection of who you are. Employers and recruiters can see or have an indication of one's communication skills, education and work experience, industry knowledge, use/abuse of substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, drugs etc, and your social life.
If used wisely and efficiently, social media is a key resource in improving one's professional network and provide a range of job opportunities.