Be social! How to use your Xing profile, Facebook and other social media sites as application platforms
Since the invention of social networks, applicants and human resources managers no longer need to look into a crystal ball. Nowadays, exciting candidates and potential employers can appear on your screen via Xing profiles, Facebook and other social media sites in a matter of seconds. Find out here how to make yourself stand out online and in this way attract the clicks that promise success.
Getting found – the most efficient kind of job search
Job seekers typically jump from one job site to another every day and comb through the current job advertisements – always hoping to find the perfect job for them. We have good news for these diligent applicants: companies recruit their desired candidates in other ways too. Around three percent of all job appointments happen through social media channels. The job website monster.com has known this since it carried out the survey Recruiting Trends 2013. Some of these social media appointments are the result of an active search by the human resources manager, known as ‘recruiting’. The advantage for the candidate: instead of searching themselves, they are found via social networks.
Make sure you can be easily found by creating a LinkedIn or Xing profile that makes an impression. Almost twelve percent of the 1000 companies surveyed use Xing often or very often when looking for applicants. According to the Workplace Survey carried out by Robert Half, even a third of surveyed human resources decision-makers use online profiles in social networks in order to make contact with potential candidates.
Your Xing profile is one step ahead of you
Make sure you meticulously maintain your Xing profile. List your additional qualifications, mention the software you are familiar with by name and include your achievements. Just like in your application, on the internet the same rule applies: typos kill careers. Play it safe and have it read by someone you know. A fresh pair of eyes will definitely not miss any mistakes.
Do you allow others to speak for you before you do? Other members can endorse you on your LinkedIn profile. Use these testimonials – but make sure you check who appears as your endorser and how relevant the recommendation is. Praise from a former superior for a specific project is a good start.
And what does your contact list reveal to your potential employer? Do you all your contacts come from the same company, or do you network with employees from other companies in similar positions? Does your contact list really only contain professional contacts, or do you use your profile to make as many – but unfortunately irrelevant – connections as possible? Lots of qualified contacts work like a megaphone: they help you reach a wider audience.
Professional networking: work on your network, without falling into any traps
Many companies use active social networks to announce new positions available. Sign up to the news feed in the company profile – that way new job offers will fly your way for free. You fancy a specific job? Visit the Xing page of the contact person and leave a friendly message. Enquire about which qualifications are particularly important or whether there is a main focus in the job. This can significantly increase your chances of standing out from other candidates and being perceived in a more specific way. But are you allowed to send a request to the human resources manager to add them to your contacts in order to expand your social network? Sure! But stay reserved if they do not respond or do not confirm your request. Being pushy would be counterproductive.
Incidentally, sending a friend request to the human resources manager on Facebook is a no-go. At most you should use your profile to ask questions on the company's recruiting page. And make sure you are very careful with your privacy settings. It’s not just party photos from the weekend that can betray you. Your interest for particular pages or comments on other users’ posts can also come back to bite you.