Canadians use social media to aid in job hunt

(Graphic by Lena Yang)

(Graphic by Lena Yang)

Forget annoying statuses and messages — the next update you get through your social media network could be a job opportunity.

A recent study commissioned by the United States human resources firm, Kelly Services, found that 39 per cent of surveyed Canadians have found employment through a social media outlet in the last year.

Data reflects the responses of 122,000 people surveyed globally. Brazil had the highest rates at 74 per cent and the U.S. matched Canada at 39 per cent.

Four per cent of Canadians claimed that they were hired after being contacted through social media websites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook.

Spencer Williams, a student at Langara College and former intern at 102.7 the PEAK in Vancouver, said he found his job via Twitter.

“I originally messaged [the PEAK’s Twitter account] because I was wanting a tour of their radio station,” he said. “After the tour, one of their DJ’s took me to their promotions department and they told me they were interested in hiring interns.”

Williams also said that he was in support of using social media to find employment.
As a person interested in working in radio, Williams said that social media was an “easy way to get your foot in the door.”

“Social media I find is the twenty-first century newspaper,” he said. “You don’t see too many twenty-somethings actually going out and networking to find a job.”

Not all agree that the report’s results are representative, however.

“I don’t agree with the premise of that report,” said Lauren Friese, the founder of TalentEgg.ca, an online career resource that caters to Canadian students and recent graduates.

“Employers use some social media platforms for their branding,” she explained.

“I find that people are learning about these jobs through Twitter or Facebook and then they probably apply through an applicant tracking system or read more about the company on their website and then meet them for an interview.”

According to Friese, a person may be more likely to learn about a job opportunity from a social media platform, but she doesn’t believe there are many jobs actually coming off of that platform.

“It’s another form of outreach,” she said. “It’s [also a] very generational thing, but only limited to that very tiny percent of people who are actually using these platforms to find work.”

The global report also explained that 60 per cent of those surveyed agreed that social media networks were “a good way for them to forward along job opportunities to friends and colleagues.”

About half also said they were interested in receiving offers from social media platforms.

Friese however, also warned that there are some negative impacts of merging social media and the work force.

“It has made information about people and opportunities more available than ever,” she said. “From a student perspective, be careful what you post.”

“It’s there forever.”

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