In 2009, I wrote an article called, Online Presence – Asset of the Future: Why Your Social Graph Will Be Worth As Much As Your Home.
In it I said this;
In the not too distant future, a baseline online social presence will be required for the most common of life’s exercises, like getting a job. In the future, if you don’t have some semblance of an online presence you won’t even be considered for the job. If employers or recruiters can’t learn about you online, through your social graph, they won’t be interested.
I also called this out in my book Not Taught, What it Takes To Be Successful in The 21st-Century No One is Teaching You when I referenced the term digital obscurity.
Digital obscurity will be the plague of the commoner in the information age.
Well, the not too distant future is here. According to a recent survey put out by Harris Polling company (done for CareerBuilder), 57% of employers will not interview someone without a social media presence. That’s up from 35% in 2015.
Let me say that again. 57% of employers will NOT interview someone without a social media presence. That’s more than half. That’s material. The future is now.
The argument of whether or not you need an online presence for career advancement has been settled. More over, the idea that you need to get rid of your social media accounts is now suicidal advice. According to the poll, 70% of employers search social media profiles to screen candidates. In my world, that’s pretty much everyone. Only 3 out of 10 don’t use social media to screen candidates. Therefore, if you don’t have a social media presence, you have nothing to screen and therefore won’t be considered by employers.
Here are a few additional findings from the survey:
- 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates (up 11% from 2016)
- 57% of employers won’t interview someone without a social media presence
- 54% of employers acknowledge not hiring someone because of their social media presence
- 61% of employers who use social media when hiring say they are looking for information to support the candidate’s qualifications
Look at these numbers and tell me what you see.
It’s here. The information age is in full swing, and there has never been a better time to gain a competitive advantage. Employers are demanding to see solid, substantive, representative profiles that highlight a candidates ability to do the job. They are so determined to see this; they aren’t even considering those who don’t have a social media presence.
If you aren’t creating a social media presence that’s an asset for you, then you’re falling behind. You’re missing out on one of the greatest career opportunities you will see in your lifetime.
It’s time you start building a powerful, compelling, online presence that highlights your skills and capabilities. It’s time to start showing the world what you can do via social media. The tell me economy is over, employers want to see what you can do. We’re in the show me economy now.
It’s not enough to have a shiny, slick resume, filled with accomplishments. It’s not sufficient to have recommendations and referrals. Today, you need to have a solid, compelling social media presence that highlights what you know, how you do your job, etc. You have to show employers who you are, not tell them.
Those candidates that have cultivated informative, educational, engaging content over the years will be getting the most attention from employers and will be the first to get hired. They will get the job over you if you haven’t been working on your online presence.
People used to be told to take down their social media profiles or to “clean” them up. But now, it’s just the opposite. You have to beef them up. They have to be representative of who you are, how you do your job, the impact you have on your industry, and the relationships you develop.
Traditionally when looking for a job, job seekers start “updating” their resumes. That’s the wrong approach today. Employers aren’t looking at resumes; they’re looking at blogs, LinkedIn, YouTube, Quora, Twitter, and Facebook. They’re running searches on Bing and Google. They’re running searches for your name. They want to see who you are and what you’ve done.
Peeps, look at this as a wake-up call. If you haven’t started building an online presence you’re not only missing a tremendous opportunity to create a competitive advantage; you’re falling behind. Social media is here to stay. I saw this coming in 2009. I then reiterated in my book in 2015. Now it’s here. We’ve hit the tipping point. More than half of all employers won’t interview a candidate without a social media profile.
We’ve become dependent on information at our finger tips. We Google everything. Trust runs through Google. If we can’t find a person or company online, we’re skeptical. We don’t trust it. We question the authenticity of those who can’t be found, and that includes you.
I’ll say it again. Digital obscurity will be the plague of the commoner. Don’t be digitally obscure; the price is too high.