Tech savvy job seekers are winning

“Smart” job seekers are using social media to bypass the traditional recruitment process “jumping the queue” into their desired position.READ ALSO: LinkedIn reveals NZ membershipManaging principal of career services at Right Management, Murray McLachlan, said while social networking sites such as LinkedIn are not new, people are increasingly finding smarter ways to leverage its potential.

“Smart” job seekers are using social media to bypass the traditional recruitment process “jumping the queue” into their desired position.

READ ALSO: LinkedIn reveals NZ membership

Managing principal of career services at Right Management, Murray McLachlan, said while social networking sites such as LinkedIn are not new, people are increasingly finding smarter ways to leverage its potential.

“People are just starting to discover the power of using social media for job-seeking.

“At the moment it’s still a minority of job seekers but they are probably the ones that are winning. I’ve only seen this trend in the last few months but I think it’s the way it’s going to go.”

“Savvy” users are increasingly using LinkedIn to identify the companies behind positions advertised on sites such as Seek and Trade Me. Using their online networks, they then approach key individuals within the organisation, sometimes cutting recruitment firms out of the picture.

LinkedIn is now an essential part of career management and is becoming a challenge to traditional recruitment agencies, Mr McLachlan said.

“I think the recruiters wouldn’t be pleased about LinkedIn being used this way.

“It’s a dichotomy for the recruiters because on the one hand they would not like this process of being cut out of the loop but on the other hand the recruiters are using LinkedIn too because it’s an effective and easy way of doing some pre-screening.”

Mr McLachlan said approaching a company through social networks rather than a formal application process allows for a more personal approach, showing enthusiasm for the position and demonstrating a high degree of tech savviness.

“It enables people to push their online ‘brand’ and removes them from the larger pool of potential applicants.

“It is particularly effective in smaller labour markets like New Zealand, where fewer degrees of separation make personal connections more likely and arguably more important.”

The power of LinkedIn has increased in line with its growth in users. In New Zealand more than 250,000 people have signed up for user accounts, up from 120,000 in July 2009.

“With more than 75 million users worldwide, it is one of the most potent tools available for jobseekers wanting to differentiate themselves from the pack and exploit their networks to get a foot in the door with potential employers,” Mr McLachlan said.

Do’s and Don’ts of queue jumping

Do
· Make smart use of social media – to advertise yourself, conduct research about employers, and build your contacts
· Be proactive. Social media is not a reason to neglect face-to-face networking
· Work your online contacts when positions arise
· Ensure your online brand is consistent and up-to-date

Don’t
· Turn up unannounced to see employers
· Call too frequently
· Spam employers with applications
· Present contradictory images of yourself in social media

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