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Headhunting, Job Hunting and Social Media


It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that we all had a polished electronic resume, bio and headshot ready to go.

Soon after, we learned of business social networking site Linked In and new times were changing. We joined the site, built our profiles, reproductized our resumes and started reaching out to our network to “link in” to us.

Then we found that we needed recommendations from our network. So we solicited our referrals from our mentors, peers and employees.  

LinkedIn began to offer users the opportunity to set up professional groups. Some are designed by invite only while others are click-to-join. I joined several and at first was a bit of a voyeur.

Although I try to stay up with it, I don’t use the site as often as I should. I admit I regularly look to see who’s hiring. It helps me stay up to date on the landscape. I also pay close attention to people’s status updates. I’ve linked my account to my Twitter account. I also read my feeds.

However, I don’t read my email there all that much. Sometimes I don’t check to see who’s requesting to be a connection. In fact I just saw an update email from a colleague. It was two weeks old.

As much as I am steeped in social media, I find it hard to keep up with. I’m on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Oftentimes, I go to Facebook to email a professional contact because I’ve lost track of their work email. I wish I could streamline my contacts better.

I was excited to see Pinterest http://www.pinterest launch a few months ago. I think the site is beautifully designed. I love the “invite only” approach. Like a lot of other social media, I have watched more than participated.

One thing I saw coming was people using pins for promotional messaging. Many are using it to display their work experience and job-hunting goals. Makes me think, the old MS Word document is de passé in our field. It’s now about pinning, posting, linking in and sending short messages across social networks to solicit our wares.


When researching the subject, I stumbled upon how people are using Twitter for job hunting. I thought most people Tweeted a link to a URL that had their resume, bio and other accolades to promote their experience.

Turns out, there is a hashtag #twesume. It’s an opportunity to condense your experience into 140 characters or less. The best part is, you can always change it and update it. You can Tweet it, email it, put it in your signature files…the list goes on.

I’ve spoken with headhunters and recruiters. All say they build lists of candidates via social media even before they have a position they are trying to fill.

I recently spoke with a friend in HR for an international tech firm. She said her team uses such sites to “size people up” after they’ve applied for an open position. She told me they would call the candidate in if they liked what they saw about them in social media channels.

My friend is not alone. According to RezScore, 89% of companies used social networks for recruiting in 2011.

Bullhorn surveyed its 35,000 recruiters to learn how social media influences recruiting efforts. I’d suggest you read the full presentation as its chock-full of information

<;. The company predicts growth in what it calls the “big three” networks: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. It says recruiters could quadruple their size of their Twitter netowrks and potentially add 1,000 connections to their LinkedIn networks by years’ end.

My prediction is that Pinterest will be added to the list. How do you think social media will change job hunting and recruiting?




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4 thoughts on “Headhunting, Job Hunting and Social Media

  1. I think social media is already changing the job market. As you mentioned in the blog, employers are already using social media to help identify which candidates might be a better fit or more qualified for the position. On the flip side, job seekers are able to learn about companies and open position through social media. I would image that job fairs will start to transition to online rather than big career fairs. I am sure some already exist-similar to online trade shows.

  2. Cscen1 on said:

    Great post on a very relevant topic! I agree that social media has changed/is changing how people job hunt and the ways employers hire. A few weeks ago, I found this interesting article ( that is very relevant to your post. It’s about how resumes are basically becoming obsolete. Instead, companies are using social media sites and video profiles to evaluate if a candidate would be a good fit for the position. Even though only a few companies are currently doing this, I think it will become more common due to the increasing use of social media.

  3. Interesting post, thanks for sharing. Social media usage in job searching for both employees and employers is becoming more prevalent. I was talking to my Human Resources department the other day and one of my recruiters said she always checks various social media sites when she gets in resumes. Fortunately for her she has more than enough resumes for most of our open positions so she does not have to use social media to find potential applicants, but she does use social media to screen people who have already applied. The sites she used were pretty basic though – mostly LinkedIn and Facebook. I found an interesting infographic that compliments your blog post:

  4. Seana,

    Informative post. Your post inspired me to research other ways SM can influence job search. I found a site that offers 5 ways to avoid SM hurting your job search:

    1. Avoid friends in “low” places: Avoid contacts who post inappropriate updates or photos

    2. Be sure you have time for SM before creating an account, to avoid the appearance of starting things you can’t finish

    3. Don’t share too much information

    4. Don’t rely on SM as your only manner of networking

    5. Manage your time: Have fun with SM, while staying focused on your job search


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