How Social Media is Affecting Modern Recruiting Practices

social media in job search

Do Employers Use Social Media?

Ever since you opened a Facebook account and started posting pictures and other personality markers online, you’ve been out there for the world to see. In most cases, people use social media to connect with old friends and meet new ones with common interests. But how does your profile appear to job recruiters looking for new talent? Unless you take this matter into consideration, you might be at a disadvantage the next time you look for work. Here are some thoughts on social media’s effect on modern recruiting practices.

Recruiters are definitely going to look. You shouldn’t doubt for a moment that recruiters are going to look at your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, among other social media outlets – nearly 90% check these pages before hiring someone new. Recruiters use these tools to get an idea of your personality. There is no reason to worry if you have an outsized personality or unconventional interests. Many recruiters will look at a Facebook account in-depth when they want an outside-the-box type person to interview. Just don’t be holding a martini in every single photo you post.

LinkedIn – be professional

LinkedIn can be as dry as you like. If Facebook and Twitter are key indicators of your personality and interests, LinkedIn is the place to be “all business.” Any recruiting firm looking for substantive information on your career – from past experience to professional contacts – will check out your LinkedIn profile and have a look at your business persona. Be clear and concise in the descriptions of your abilities and keep your profile up-to-date. If you are looking and a recruiter sees qualifications that fit, you’re going to get plenty of responses.

Use Facebook Privacy Settings

Use social media filters to your advantage. If you know your way around Facebook settings (and most people do these days), you’ll be comfortable adjusting the settings so not everyone can see your holiday exploits in Ibiza or your fascination with cats. However, make accomplishments like published articles and industry awards available to everyone – especially recruiters – to review without needing to friend you. While limiting random viewers to everything in your profile is not necessary (and maybe against the principle of social media), you should know your way around the filters.

Twitter – don’t be overly personal

Keep your Tweets fair. While few recruiters won’t frown upon a strong personality shining through your Tweets, you shouldn’t go over the top when bashing a rival sports team or ribbing an unsavory political candidate. You will have to deal with coworkers in whatever career you call home, so express yourself without being overly prickly. Recruiters want to know you’ll be able to make friends and feel comfortable around the office as well as excel in the nuts and bolts of the job.

Use Social Media to Complement your Resume

Use the modern tools at your disposal to spice up a resume. While you might not email a resume containing video or jarring graphics to a potential employer, you can use social media sites to show off a flair for the dramatic. Recruiters want to have their attention grabbed when looking for candidates. Resumes with a lot of flash – everything from video to dazzling graphics – can make it happen. If you aren’t the best at employing these visuals, ask a friend for help who is more proficient. You might get more responses from recruiters than people might with better qualifications, if you know how to grab their attention.


Without question, social media has changed the way recruiters look for candidates in today’s job market. Instead of worrying how your profile looks, figure out a way to put your best foot forward online. It could mean great things for your next job search.



Ari Mills covers IT recruiting and social staffing topics for Match Relevant IT Recruiting Agency based in Laguna Beach, CA.