LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are ubiquitous in the 21st century, so it's no wonder 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts (according to a Jobvite study).
When it comes to social profiles such as Facebook or Twitter, 42% of recruiters admitted to reconsidering candidates purely based on what they have seen online. Not all of these reconsiderations were negative, however it is still a good idea to review your profiles before beginning your job search.
LinkedIn was designed to be a platform for careers, specifically highlighting work experience, skills and recommendations from current or previous workmates. If you don't already have a LinkedIn profile, there's no time like the present to create one.
The Jobvite report shows that this is site is where 96% of recruiters search for candidates, 94% contact candidates, and 92% investigate applicants.
A potential employer would be impressed if they can see you have joined hospitality groups on the site, published your own articles about the industry, shared interesting reports or garnered recommendations from colleagues. An empty profile with little or no information may put them off - even if you have no work experience, you can still highlight your enthusiasm for food and wine in this space.
A study by research centre Pew shows that 74% of online adults use Facebook, and that this statistic jumps to 89% for the 18-29 age group.
If you were to apply for a role as a waiter in a restaurant and an employer or recruiter were to look at your Facebook wall right now, what would they see? A page filled with statuses about great meals you've had lately, check-ins at new eateries around town or a picture of you enjoying a wine with friends might work in your favour, showing that passion for food and wine that all employers look for.
On the other hand, a page full of profanity, rudeness or embarrassing photos could easily make an employer deem you immature and lacking the soft skills required for such roles.
Twitter is the third most popular social network for recruiters, and is where 18% of recruiters will vet a candidate after an interview, says Jobvite.
Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, you can create a username, or 'handle' for Twitter. Keep this in mind if your employer will see it - your own name or some variation of your name and interests is fine, but be careful that your name is giving the right impression - that of a responsible, mature hospitality professional.
Otherwise, Twitter is very similar to Facebook in that you should aim to post relevant, interesting comments about the industry or your interests. Remember to use the retweet function to show you are following leading chefs, cocktail makers, restaurants and industry leaders - or even retweet something from your potential new employer.
How does your social profile look?
Have a sweep of your online presence and ensure that you're hireable, meaning your social media pages aren't raising any flags. Remain professional and make absolutely certain that your social media channels are void of offensive and/or inappropriate material if you want a job.
Drawing on 22 years personal experience and over 23,000 professional hours working across Sydney’s hospitality industry, these articles intend to inspire young candidates to join our industry and support aligned operators in building positive employment environments for the aspiring hospitality professional. Please feel free to contact me directly if you feel I could help or if you would like us to cover an important topic or industry matter.