Careful: a prospective boss is stalking you on social media

RESUMES, references and face-to-face interviews? That's so yesterday.

Employers are increasingly using the social media profiles of potential staff as additional indicators for selection, with one-third of recruiters responding to a new survey reporting having done so.

The finding was contained in Graduate Careers Australia's 2013 Graduate Outlook report.

"Graduates may have greater job prospects if their social media profiles present an appropriate image when they prepare their graduate applications," GCA executive director Dr Noel Edge said.

"Today's employers are looking for graduate candidates who convey professionalism in person and online."

The report found one in five employers did not recruit graduates in 2013, as they were cautious in the post-financial crisis economic climate. Graduate Outlook 2013 figures revealed 19.3% of surveyed employers recruited no graduates in 2013, compared with 12.5% in 2012. Most surveyed employers blamed financial considerations for this decrease in hiring, with 34.9% citing economic conditions as the primary influence on their graduate recruitment intake, and a further 26.4% naming budgetary constraints.

Dr Edge said the long-term outlook for university graduates was bright.

"There is a lot of attention paid to the percentage of graduates who secure full-time employment immediately after graduation. Our research has consistently shown that graduates experience strong growth in employment rates in the first few years after the completion of their studies."

When asked about the selection criteria used when recruiting graduates, interpersonal and communication skills were ranked as the most important.

"Technical expertise is important, but graduates wielding strong communication skills will have greater employment prospects," Dr Edge said.


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