Social media has just about revolutionised every aspect of our lives. From personal organisation, staying in touch with family and friends, photo sharing and event planning to business marketing and product awareness, we all use social media on a daily basis and it informs many of our personal and business decisions. And this is exactly why social media platforms are changing the recruitment industry as well.

The benefits of social media for job hunters

If you’re looking for a job, it is now pretty much essential to use social media to network, search and create a strong, professional online presence to give you the upper hand over competitors:

1) Access to employers.

Candidates can get closer to prospective employers than ever before and vice versa. It also allows you to track mutual connections and make contact with bosses and hiring managers before you apply for their jobs.

2) Networking.

Social media gives you an easy way to connect to the right people, as well as keep useful contacts on hand for job hunting in the future. But computers alone don’t get you a job, so using social media as a networking tool helps you forge relationships with recruiters, companies and employers so you don’t need to apply for jobs blindly.

3) Personal branding.

Around 80% of employers say that they review online information about a prospective candidate in order to make a well informed decision. So your online profile really matters and can be an excellent tool for self-promotion. If your job hunting, update LinkedIn with correct information, create an online CV and search through Twitter and Facebook to remove any questionable photos or posts. Remember that employers will also be looking through your contacts and may often be looking for a well-established network with lots of influence already that you can bring to the job.

4) Be proactive.

You can use your online contacts to efficiently seek out relevant job opportunities rather than just search through what you can see advertised. This helps with finding out about jobs which are brand new or positions which will be opening within your preferred company in the future. When used correctly, social media can really put you in the driving seat, helping you undertake detailed research and hunt for jobs on the go through smartphone apps, keeping you firmly up to date.

How can recruiters benefit from social media?

If prospective candidates are that tuned in to using social media when searching for positions, then recruiters should absolutely be capitalising on this revolution as well. If candidates are now finding it easier to search for jobs and have greater access to prospective employers, then recruitment agencies need to offer something more than that. And they do. A recruiter with a strong online presence will be able to target suitable candidates for employers through the overwhelming numbers and get their jobs noticed in the right forums, whilst helping prospective employers improve their online presence and make the best connections, utilising social media and mobile applications at every step.

With so many millions of users on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, the potential for recruiters to reach a huge audience with very little investment is huge. And it’s easy to use and already a major part of their client’s lives.

But can social media really help you get that perfect job?

The simple answer is yes. And the figures are outstanding. Recruiters and employers are actively using social media every day, with 90% of companies using social networks for recruitment purposes. It is estimated that around 1 in 5 of us successfully found a job through an online social network and this is rapidly increasing. That equates to many millions of successful job searches through social media.

So social media is certainly making it easier to find the right jobs and connect with the people who matter. It’s just about the most important tool candidates, recruiters and employers have right now, so to improve your job hunting; get online.

About Author: Sarah Stewart has written this article on behalf of Websites4agencies, a recruitment web design agency.