Whenever I teach military reintegration or transition courses, I’m inevitably challenged by participants who question whether being found online really matters that much. “After all,” they argue, “my reputation and track record should speak for itself.”
I understand the logic: You build a solid reputation as a leader, problem solver, trained and skilled worker, and adaptive and resilient thinker during your time in uniform. That counts for a lot when you transition to a civilian career. But how will employers find you? How can they learn who you are, not just what you can do? How can a potential employer get a sense of how (or if) you will fit into their company culture and team? Social media is one easy way to make that happen.
Still not convinced? Consider these statistics:
- In 2015, 51% of those who did have jobs were searching for new ones or watching for openings. (State of the American Workplace Report Gallup 2017) This means your competition is not just people who are unemployed, or just veterans.
- Referrals are 5x more effective than all other sources of hiring. (Jobvite 2017 Recruiting Funnel Benchmark Report) When other people refer you, they often link to your online profiles making it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate you.
- Recruiters take an average of six seconds to scan a resume. (TheLadders) Your resume is only a piece of the story of who you are, what you can offer, and how you can be of value to the employer.
- Millennials make up 38% of the American workforce, on track for up to 75% by 2025. (Gallup 2016) Millennials know how to build their visibility on social media and social networking.
- 79% of job seekers say they are likely to use social media in their job search (Glassdoor 2013). In other words, your competitors are online, building profiles and getting the attention of employers.
- 50.5% of recruiters say social media has changed their recruiting results. (2016 Recruiting Benchmark Survey NACE). As employers find social media to be less expensive and more effective at sourcing candidates, they will build social marketing and recruiting into their strategies more aggressively.
- Recruiters will disqualify candidates if they find evidence of the following on their social media profiles (Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016):
- Typos - 72%
- Marijuana - 71%
- Oversharing - 60%
- Alcohol - 47%
- Selfies - 18%
Have you checked your profiles lately? Be sure they don’t contain these red flags.
- According to the 2017 Society for Human Resource Management Social Media Recruitment and Screening Survey, when seeking to find talent online, recruiters search for the following job levels:
- 87% search for non-management, salaried employees
- 82% search for management-level personnel
- 55% search for non-management, hourly employees
- 45% recruit for executive, upper management positions
- This same Survey revealed that: Recruiting via social media is growing (84% of organizations are currently using social media, 9% plan to use it for recruiting purposes).
- And, that recruiting passive job candidates (82%) continues to be the top reason that organizations use social media for recruitment.
As you start or navigate your military-to-civilian career transition, consider whether you can risk not being found online by employers, whether your reputation is suffering from what you’ve posted (thinking nobody but your friends is watching,) and ways you can elevate your findability and positioning by leveraging a strong online presence.