Let Social Media Help You Future-Proof Your Career

Alexey Shteingardt
Managing Director
Hays Russia

The use of social media and social networking in Russia has been spreading fast, making it the fourth-largest market in Europe for social networking after the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Not only has it become a fundamental part of the global online experience, but it is also making a huge impact on the process of recruitment, job search and candidate attraction. The most recent statistics from the TNS Web Index show that the major social networks in Russia — Odnoklassniki.ru and Vkontakte.ru — are experiencing the type of acceleration that Facebook and Twitter encountered a little while ago. Incorporating social networking into your job search strategy for 2010 and beyond is definitely the right route to take.

The traditional approach in this market has always been very simple — writing a resume and placing it on a job board. Then you cross your fingers and wait until an interested potential employer calls you to arrange a face-to-face interview. In a market where the amount of vacancies has shrunk and the competition has been enhanced by thousands of qualified professionals recently made redundant, this is hardly the most effective way.

The new future-proof approach should be different. It is important to think out of the box. This is not to say the traditional approach is no longer an option, but the process of your job search should turn into a consistent strategy exploiting all resources available. The new approach is about building a powerful personal message and attracting job opportunities directly to your social network account.

A daily challenge for any recruiter is identifying and attracting the right candidates. Ninety percent of search time is spent online, and the percentage spent on social networks like LinkedIn and MoiKrug versus conventional job boards is increasing. Contemporary recruiters are increasingly using LinkedIn, MoiKrug and other communities alike for name hunting and sourcing the right profiles. Therefore, your ultimate goal as a candidate is to make your online profile as complete and visible as possible.  

It is important to have a fully completed profile that will be just as elaborate as your CV, if not more. A well-written summary of your experience will increase the chances of your profile coming up in keyword searches when the recruiter is looking for some specific skills or expertise in your area. It is also a good idea to receive a few recommendations from your network, be it your subordinate, supervisor or even a wider professional contact. Having a fully complete and visible LinkedIn or other social network profile will put your experience in front of the right recruitment consultant, and that one click may eventually change your career and get you the job of your dreams.  

It is a popular fear in Russia that placing your CV on a job board like Job.ru, HeadHunter.ru or others may be like waving a farewell flag to your boss before having secured a new job. The advantage of social media over conventional job boards is that you do not appear to be an active job seeker, since having a comprehensive and up-to-date profile merely demonstrates your current status and work experience and shows that you are active in maintaining a professional network — something that is beneficial to both you and your current employer.

While social and professional networks increase access and reach for many recruiters, it is largely the quality, completeness and data richness of candidates’ profiles that enable recruiters to find you promptly — the right candidate for the right job.

In a nutshell, here is the Hays guide to a successful social network profile:

  • Develop a complete and visible social network profile;
  • Build and maintain a trusted professional network;
  • Regularly update your profile and professional summary;
  • Join professional groups and associations on the networks;
  • Receive references and recommendations from your trusted work partners.

When living in an age of technology, it is important not to forget that while social media and social networks give candidates and recruiters a convenient space for interaction, they do not offer a substitute for in-depth personal interviews. The human element stays at the heart of successful recruiting, and effective face-to-face communication will always be a key to success.