What Job Seekers Should Know About How Employers Are Looking for You

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Jobseekers may be surprised to know one often-used buzz phrase in the recruiting and hiring industry: "war for talent." It refers to the fact that organizations need to fight for the very best candidates and identify techniques to recruit those individuals. (And, here you thought you were fighting for jobs, all the while, employers think they are fighting over you -- especially in fields where there are more jobs than job seekers.)

The question successful job seekers must answer is how to best connect with their targeted employers and demonstrate they are the best candidate for the job. Ideally, you'll find ways to positively differentiate yourself and stand a head above the competition. One way to keep on top of things is to read materials covering information for employers. One such survey is Jobvite's annual Social Recruiting Survey, now it its seventh year. The report is the result of information collected from 1,855 recruiters and human resource professionals across various industries and regions.

The data indicates that finding, engaging and hiring top talent can be cutthroat in an increasingly competitive job market for hiring authorities. It finds that employers are continuing to turn to social networks and recruiting via mobile devices to attract the best candidates, which suggests job seekers should consider incorporating social media tools into their strategies.

Some key findings of note to job seekers:

Some 93% of recruiters now use or plan to use social to support their recruiting efforts and 73% of recruiters plan to increase their investment in social recruiting going forward. It may not be a surprise to know that 93% of recruiters will review a candidate's social profile before making a hiring decision. What do they look for when reviewing LinkedIn?
  • Evidence of professional experience (97%)
  • Length of professional tenure (96%)
  • Industry-related posts (88%)
Some of the employers also look for those items on Facebook, with 20% looking for professional experience there, 14% reviewing Facebook to determine length of professional tenure and 27% seeking industry-related posts on Facebook.

When asked what improved due to implementing social media strategies, 44% of employers believed the quality and quantity of candidates was better, 34% said time to hire improved and 30% noted improvements in referrals.

Practical Tips
What are some practical tips job seekers can take from this research that will help them stand above the crowded field? Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite, suggested the following ideas for job seekers in light of this research:

1. Go where recruiters go.
Data showed 86% of job seekers use Facebook in their job search, but only 66% of recruiters are searching for candidates on the network. Since 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn, use that network to the fullest, paying specific attention to completing your profile, because recruiters are using LinkedIn to judge your length of professional tenure (96%). (Learn the six mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn.)

2. Get to know companies and highlight your best assets with them in mind.
The report noted that employers turn to Facebook to judge cultural fit (46%) and mutual connects (35%). Make a point to showcase how and why you're a good fit for the organization via your typically more "casual" networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Finnigan suggests, "Keep an eye out for mutual friends and familiarize yourself with folks you might end up working with - you may be more connected than you think!"

3. Don't be afraid to flaunt your talents.
The research shows recruiters review candidates' writing or design work on sites like Facebook (24%) and personal blogs (25%). Use these tools and other online sites to showcase your expertise; it could open the door to your next job.

4. Mobile recruiting is on the rise.
You should be aware that 36% of recruiters search for candidates on mobile, which means your resume and cover letter should be mobile ready. Finnigan advises you to "Try viewing your resume attachment as an email on your phone to view formatting changes and make edits necessary to optimize mobile viewing." Take some time to view all of your job search and social media properties on a mobile device. He says, "Change the formatting of your resume or cut down irrelevant material to make it more readable on mobile."

5. Do you volunteer? Highlight that on your social media profiles.
Don't underestimate the value of your volunteer experiences. Recruiters really appreciate seeing volunteerism in their applicants; it is a positive in 65% of recruiters eyes. Finnigan suggests, "If you participate in volunteer organizations, include a short summary on LinkedIn, add pictures to Facebook and tweet about it. (Learn how Twitter can help you land a job.) It could help you make a positive impression on the recruiter viewing your profile.
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