Now that I have finally found a job in HR, I am on the other side of the job search process, yet I will never forget how daunting and discouraging looking for a new job can be. You have heard the phrase, third-times-a-charm, well for me it was the 61st time, as that it how many jobs I applied for before receiving a job offer. Even with over 30 years of management experience and two bachelor degrees from SNHU, I wasn’t even getting called in for an interview. I often thought” if I could just get one foot through the door, I could convince them that I was the right person for the job.”
Out of the 60+ jobs that I applied for, I got one video interview, which was a disaster and I didn’t get a call back (no surprise there). I made the mistake of trying to make eye-contact with the one-inch picture of the interviewer. Not good! I then had a first and a second face-to-face interview with a manufacturing firm, yet they eventually went with someone who had manufacturing experience (mine was all retail). After a full year of job searching, with help from a job coach, and working with SNHU Career Services, I was finally offered an HR Administrator position for a company that had never had an HR department. This meant that I had the task of setting up the office (fun), yet I also had to spoon feed them many aspects of HR that they had never done, and were somewhat reluctant to do, such as sexual harassment training, performance appraisals, etc. Now that I am on the other side I have a few tidbits to share about the job search process.
In my first post, I shared the importance of setting up a LinkedIn account, as this is a site that HR professionals look at when reviewing the abundance of applications that they receive. LinkedIn is one social media site that HR expects to be mostly professional, rather than social in the way that Facebook is. LinkedIn can be used to see if the information on your submitted resume matches your LinkedIn profile. Keeping it real, I must tell you that LinkedIn is not the place to post a profile picture that includes you and your spouse/partner, or you and your mom (yes, I’ve seen this), or your dog (I love my dog too). This profile really should be as professional as possible without being too stiff.
As an HR professional, if I want to get a sense of who a person is and if I think that they will fit in with our company’s culture, making sure there are no red flags, I will check out their Facebook page. Regardless of what you normally post, I think that it is in your best interest to set your privacy controls to friends only on Facebook, as your friends may be the ones who lead us to think you may not fit in well. I mean, didn’t your parents always think your friends were a bad influence? Now a potential employer may make the same rash (or correct) judgment based on what is posted on your FB page.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
Due to the incredible volume of applications an employer now receives, they have had to find a way to sort through them so that only the ones that meet most of the criteria make it through to their desk. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) were designed to recognize keywords in a resume that match up with keywords mentioned in the job posting. Regardless of how qualified you may be, you will not get a call for an interview, believe me I know, if your resume doesn’t make it through the ATS. Using a program such as JobScan can help you to write a better resume, include the right keywords, and get your resume pulled from the pile and placed in front of the right people. The terrific people at SNHU Career Services (@SNHUCareer) introduced me to this idea and it finally got my phone to ring and a job offer. Best of all, you can get several “scans” for free each month.
Keep in mind that a recruiter, or HR professional, knows that you are presenting yourself in the very best way that you can during an interview so they will use social media to get a glimpse at the real you. Make sure the “real you” is someone that they can see as part of their organization. From an HR – social media standpoint, it is important that we keep our minds open and not discriminate against individuals. We need to continue to embrace diversity within our workforce.
Share your Best Practices for using social media to find a job?
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