(MoneyWatch) When you're looking for a new job, you (of course) make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, well written and adorned with a professional looking picture. This is good, as according to a new survey by Bullhorn, 98 percent of recruiters used Social Media to find candidates in 2012, up from 94 percent in 2011.
LinkedIn is the clear winner, with 97 percent of recruiters using that website. But, 51 percent of recruiters use Facebook and 49 percent use Twitter, meaning that those sites definitely have an impact on hiring. Furthermore, they are planning to increase their usage of Facebook and Twitter in 2013. (At 97 percent, LinkedIn doesn't have as much growth potential.)
So, it's not just your LinkedIn page that matters. Your Facebook page and your Twitter feed also matter. You may not see them as purely professional pages and therefore may think that they don't matter. But they do.
With high unemployment, finding someone with the right technical skills isn't nearly as difficult as finding someone that will fit in well with the company culture. Things like Twitter and Facebook can help a recruiter determine if you'll be a good fit.
However, despite high unemployment, recruiters still say that their biggest challenge is finding candidates with the right skills.
How can you use this information to your advantage?
Make your social media presence professional. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be up-to-date, and if it has a picture, it needs to be one of you looking professional. Likewise for Twitter and Facebook. Once you have a job, you can go back to putting your adorable baby as your profile picture on Facebook, but until then, nice picture of you that does not show you engaging in inappropriate activities.
Tweet about things relative to your career field. Totally boring isn't a requirement, but if you're hoping to catch a recruiter's eye, talking about articles in your area, interacting with others in your field and saying intelligent things all can go a long way towards helping you get a job.
Be confident in your salary requests. Salaries are going up, according to 47 percent of recruiters reported that candidate salaries are increasing. You still have to do your research, but if salaries are going up, why not make yours one of them?
Invest in learning some new skills. Look around and see what things are hot in your field and figure out a way to learn those skills. Take a class. Volunteer for a new project, or to help out a charity. Don't be satisfied with what you already have.
Just because social media is hot, don't abandon other methods of job hunting. While recruiters are finding people on the internet, not everyone gets their job that way. You are still most likely to find a job while networking with actual humans who know you.