One-third of employers now use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to connect with potential recruits, research has shown.
A survey of 208 firms by recruitment consultants Harvey Nash and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found that in a bid to reach out to a wider pool of talent, social networks are increasingly becoming a mainstream recruitment tool.
Half of employers said that if candidates invested time in developing a strong online brand using social networks and networking online, they are more likely to be hired.
And almost a quarter routinely use sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn as part of their recruitment processes. Fifteen per cent said they would miss key new recruits if they didn't tap into to social networks.
However, this trend is going unnoticed by young jobseekers. A separate study of 1,224 18-24 year olds found just one in 10 currently used these sites to get job leads or make useful career contacts.
Rob Grimsey, strategic development director at Harvey Nash, said: "While real-world networking and traditional job services remain invaluable, web-savvy job seekers should act now to gain the competitive edge as online networking helps jobseekers stay well connected and get career-informed."
Top tips on how to use social media to attract employers:
- Clean up your Facebook profile for prospective employers
- Sign-up to LinkedIn if you haven't already
- Track potential employers and recruitment consultancies on Twitter
- Don't leave a blank or incomplete personal profile
- Post content relevant to your job search but limit the photos you post
- Network strategically - connect to people who can help with your job search
- Think about joining groups which fit your field of interest
- Continue to speak to recruitment agencies with expertise in your local labour market