Social Media sites, like LinkedIn, are useful in so many ways during a job search!
The other day I got a note from a good friend, David. He is interviewing engineers for an important vacancy on his team. He found a fellow with a wonderful background and wants to hire him. First he wants to check his references to be sure the person he is hiring has the skills he says and will fit in with the team. Smart, right?
David noticed that this candidate is connected with me as a 2nd level connection. That means that someone I am connected with as a 1st level connection is connected to the candidate, who we will call John. David sent me a note asking if I could reach out to the shared connection to check references. Interesting, huh?
This experience has some important highlights:
For job seekers: Everyone is looking at everything. This candidate likely has no idea that people so far out of his circle will be providing feedback about him. Make sure you protect your reputation by being nice to everyone and presenting the best version of yourself at all times, especially in social media. Be sure to get recommendations on LinkedIn so viewers get a full impression of who you are and what you are like to work with.
For hiring managers: Take advantage of every opportunity to check someone out by any means possible. Social media can be a powerful way to get information about how a candidate really operates. Use every means. On LinkedIn, check out the recommendations. This particular candidate, John, has no recommendations. Does that mean no one likes him? Or does that mean he just hasn’t filled out his profile completely? Don’t forget to look at Facebook, Twitter and other social media. You never know what you will find.
Keep in mind that in this day of widespread social media people are jumping to conclusions about you whether you know it or not. Be aware. Be prepared.