Good Social Media is as Important as a CV
Applicants must not only have good grades and a complete CV, but should also pay attention to their social media profiles. Two out of three companies (63 percent) use social networks to find out about potential job applicants. The main focus is on professionally oriented platforms such as Xing or LinkedIn (53 percent), followed by more privately oriented social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (30 percent). This is the result of a representative survey commissioned by the Bitkom among HR managers. "The times, in which Social Media appearances only supplement a classical application, go to end, says Bitkom CEO Dr. Bernhard Rohleder. "More and more companies are mainly looking for new employees via social networks and are content with the information stored there for the start of an application procedure. If you can present yourself well in social networks, you definitely have advantages when looking for a job." Over time, it has become apparent that personal social media is becoming increasingly important: in 2015, only 46 percent of social networks informed themselves about applicants, compared with only 23 percent in 2013.
In online research, professional topics have priority over private ones for the HR department. Eight out of ten (81 percent) pay particular attention to technical qualifications, two thirds (67 percent) to comments on specialist topics and a good half (53 percent) to comments on the company or competitors. One in three (34 percent) pays particular attention to hobbies and private activities, one in six (16 percent) to political views.
"But social media self-portrayal can also be a career brake," says Rohleder. One in four HR managers (24 percent) who look at profiles of applicants in social networks have not hired or shortlisted applicants because of individual entries.
In principle, employers may collect generally accessible data, provided that no personal rights of the persons concerned stand in the way. This applies, for example, to content and information freely available via search engines, which can be freely accessed in social networks without registration.