True or False: In today’s job market, it’s not what you know, but who you know? True…in many ways.
According to a new survey from Jobvite, what’s the best way into a job? A personal referral and a stellar social-media presence.
So, are you on your way into a job? What you do while you are in college could help ensure your answer to that question is “YES!”
According to the survey from Jobvite, 78 percent of recruiters say that personal referrals are the best source of quality hires, which is up from 60 percent in 2014. Couple that with the fact cultural fit and previous job experience ranked in importance at 88 and 87 percent, respectively, it clearly shows the value of networking, internships and volunteerism.
Internships are probably the best way for college students to gain professional experience and also strengthen their professional network. Consider the message you are communicating to prospective employers with a resume showing internship and volunteer involvement. Successful internships, or even a high degree of volunteerism, shows initiative, and the professional references you can gain through these experiences will speak to your ability to work in diverse settings and with diverse people.
The findings from the Jobvite survey also provided insight in how you manage your social-media presence, which is something all college students should take into consideration. Building a strong social media presence should begin now, not just six months prior to starting your job search.
In light of the recent “selfie-shaming” story that went viral, you might want to keep in mind that the Jobvite survey stated 25 percent of recruiters saw selfies negatively. I think this can be a lesson not only in moderation, but also in understanding the importance of that “cultural fit” that we spoke of earlier. One company may view selfies as fun and engaging; another may deem them unprofessional and in poor taste. I think it is important to find that professional balance.
A few other online tips recruiters shared with job candidates included double-checking spelling and grammar on social media; engaging in conversations about current events in appropriate, professional ways; and highlighting volunteer, social engagement and professional work. This is great advice, and it can be applied to all your social media platforms…starting now. Take note that the survey indicated “having a strong online presence was deemed very important to recruiters, particularly if candidates were going out for jobs that involved marketing or communications.”
So maybe you need to reconsider your social media strategy. How can you bring a more professional light to your digital image while in college? Are your photos on Instagram from the weekend party you attended? Do your tweets consistently focus on the latest celebrity gossip? Do you use Facebook to post rants about how much you dislike your job or school? How could you better use these platforms to build the professional image that will make prospective employers see you as the right candidate for the job?
Put the advice shared from the Jobvite survey into practice now, and I am confident you will be on your way into that job.
In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.