You tossed your graduation cap in the air, and before it hit the ground, you realized you need a job. But you heard that employers are being flooded with resumes and that they have secret ways to screen you out of contention for that primo retail job you applied for. Their job is to find the best fit and the most mature young candidate. Your job is to make sure you get on the short list. So what filters do employers use to kick you out of contention? Listen up:
The Social Media Screen
You had a ball when you lived in the dorms or went Greek and it shows on your Facebook and other social media sites. Believe it or not, these sites are now being scoured by employers for behavioral clues. Kris Ruby, president of Ruby Media Group uses social media to filter out job candidates. "When I get a resume, the first thing I do is look at the links to their social media profiles. You can get the best possible picture of who someone is by how they act in social media -- not what they write in their resume," said Ruby. So delete those tequila “body shot” and ganja-toking photos and replace them with family picnic and other wholesome pics.
The LinkedIn Screen
Employers use this professional social media site like never before. So make sure you have a strong presence on LinkedIn with lots of connections, endorsements and updates. In a Forbes article, Laura Lashbrook Colby, Division Director of staffing agency Beacon Hill Associates, says, “If we are staffing for a recruiting or sales/marketing/business development role, then it is a big red flag if a candidate has either no profile or a limited profile with a low number of connections.” If you’re applying for a job where you have to meet clients on a regular basis, a strong LinkedIn profile will keep you in the running until you get the interview. Employers also suggest you post a photo on your profile; one that’s current, professional looking, friendly and energetic.
The HR Blacklist
Yep, it exists. Recruiters and HR managers use the HR Blacklist and others like it to screen out candidates. If you committed a serious faux pas or performed badly in an interview, you may be on this “no hire” list. For a small fee, any company can find out if their candidate has gotten the thumbs down by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Scary.
The Inside Referral
In this tight job market, HR managers don’t have time to read hundreds of resumes or face the gauntlet of applicants on Monster job sites. Big companies like Ernst & Young are increasingly drawing on a key resource to find the find the ideal candidate—their own employees. “A referral puts them in the express lane,” said Larry Nash, director of experienced and executive recruiting at Ernst & Young, to The New York Times. So connect with any working grads you know via social media, seminars, conferences and trade shows.
Wonder why you haven’t received that all–important call for an interview? You may have been screened out. Time to get busy and polish up you image.
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