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Want a job? 'Tweet' 'In' a recruiter's 'Face'

July 10, 2012 at 7:27 AM ET

Lots of you aren’t tweeting, facebooking or linkedin-ing, and that could spell doom for your job search.

Today, a majority of recruiters are using social networking sites to find job candidates so your aversion to these cyber communities may end up keeping you out of the happily-employed community.

According to a survey by Jobvite released this week, 92 percent of recruiters said they now use social media to find talent, up from 89 percent last year, and 83 percent in 2010. And the most compelling data to come from the study, which polled more than 1,000 human resource and recruiting managers online this month, was that 73 percent of those surveyed said they hired a new employee via social media.

Jobvite /
Percentage of recruiters using social networking sites to find talent.

“We continue to see social recruiting gain popularity because it is more efficient than the days of sifting through a haystack of resumes,” said Dan Finnigan, president and CEO of Jobvite, a recruiting technology company.

When it comes to the particular social networking sites, LinkedIn remains king among recruiters with 93 percent of respondents saying they use the site to find job candidates.

In second place is Facebook, with two-thirds of those polled saying they use the site, up substantially from 66 percent last year. And Twitter is also gaining traction, with 54 percent saying they look for talent on the site.

While it may seem everyone and their sister is already social media and tweet crazy, think again. Only 15 percent of adults who use the Internet used Twitter as of February, according to a Pew report. And overall, only 66 percent of online adults are using social networking sites, another Pew study found

If you’re in the job market, your anti-social media aversion may not be a good thing.

"Don't expect someone to hand you a job the minute you jump on Twitter or start using Google+, but it is possible to make good connections quickly, and you never know where they will lead," said Miriam Salpeter, author of "Social Networking for Career Success."

"It's also important to try to figure out where your industry people are spending time," she advised. "If there are a lot of your colleagues on Twitter, be sure to see if you can make use of that. Search to see who is posting and where they post and then see if you can engage on those same platforms."

Clearly, just having a social media presence won’t guarantee you a job, and actually could hurt your employment chances if your page isn’t up to snuff.

The Jobvite survey found nearly three out of four hiring manager check candidates’ profile page, and here’s how it shakes down when it comes to what you post:

  • 80 percent of respondents reacted positively to seeing memberships to professional organizations, while two-thirds like to see volunteering or donating to a nonprofit.
  • Content that recruiters especially frown on includes references to using illegal drugs (78 percent negative) and posts of a sexual nature (67 percent negative).
  • Profanity in posts and tweets garnered a 61 percent negative reaction, and almost half (47 percent) reacted negatively to posts about alcohol consumption.
  • Worse than drinking, grammar or spelling mistakes on social profiles saw a 54 percent negative reaction.
  • However, recruiters and hiring managers tend to be neutral in their reactions to political opinions (62 percent neutral) and religious posts (53 percent neutral).

OK, if you haven’t taken the social networking plunge, I’m here to help you put your toe in if you’re game. Follow me on Twitter and we can start a dialogue.

Want advice on how to use social networking to land a job? Join us for a live web chat today at 10:30 am ET with Dan Schawbel, author of “Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future”, and a personal branding and career expert. He’ll be on hand to take questions from readers about social networking and the job hunt. Sign up here.

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