#WorkopolisChats recap

#WorkopolisChats recap: Social media and your career

Peter Harris|

On October 29th, special guests Lorena Marra and Brad Ewoniak, recruiters from WestJet and Max Valiquette, social media expert from Bensimon Byrne joined us for a live Twitter Q&A on the best uses of social media as a career tool.

The chat was fast-paced as the team spent the hour answering as many questions as they could as fast as they came in. You can read the full chat by searching the hashtag #WorkopolisChats on Twitter.

Here are some of the highlights:

Q: Where would you say you get the most “bang for your bucks?” Twitter or Facebook Linkedin?

    The team replied that most Facebook updates should be kept private. LinkedIn is the first and most likely place that employers will turn to screen candidates, so it’s important to have a professional profile there. However, for interacting with other people, sharing knowledge and demonstrating awareness of your field of expertise, Twitter is the most powerful tool.

Q: How in depth a look do employers take of social media profiles? #WorkopolisChats

    Most employers will Google candidates before interviewing them and check their LinkedIn profiles. Recruiters at WestJet may look at the online profiles of candidates for management positions in head office. They aren’t likely to screen entry-level candidates on social media.

    Especially for jobs requiring multiple interviews, Max Valiquette pointed out, employers will look at everything that is available. So manage your social profiles accordingly. If it’s public, it will be seen.

‏Q: What if you don’t HAVE a “social” profile?

    WestJet said that this wouldn’t be a problem for those looking for work at their company, especially not for front line jobs.

    The other experts pointed out that while for the most part candidates would be okay without an online presence, there was a risk in some fields that this could hurt their chances of being hired. Especially for careers in communications, marketing or public relations, not using the latest communications tools could make candidates appear unsavvy or outdated.

Q: What is the best way to craft a LinkedIn profile summary? #WorkopolisChats

    Make sure that it captures your personality; but be professional. Highlight your best attributes, experience as sharply as possible.

Q: What is the number one mistake people make on social media sites, that discourages recruiters?

    There wasn’t a clear consensus on one biggest mistake that candidates make because different recruiters have different standards – and there will also be variations by industry.

    However, the experts agree that ‘oversharing’ can be an issue. Specifically offensive behaviour can cause problems. If an employer looks you up online and the first impression they get of you is a foul-mouthed angry tirade, posts regarding excessive drinking or drug use or activities of that nature – what do you think that will do to your chances of being hired?

Q: what is the best way to reach out to hiring managers/recruiters about career opportunities via SM?

    Given the volume of applications that WestJet receives, this isn’t a viable option for recruiters at their company. However, they recommend having a detailed LinkedIn profile that their recruiters can check out.

    Max Valiquette suggested engaging recruiters smartly about their own recent social media posts. Striking up a conversation with them about their own interests as an approach.

Q: What is the number one mistake people make on social media sites, that discourages recruiters?

    There wasn’t a clear consensus on one biggest mistake that candidates make because different recruiters have different standards – and there will also be variations by industry.

    However, the experts agree that ‘oversharing’ can be an issue. Specifically offensive behaviour can cause problems. If an employer looks you up online, you certainly don’t want their first impression of you to be a foul-mouthed angry tirade, posts regarding excessive drinking or drug use, or activities of that nature.

Q: what is the best way to reach out to hiring managers/recruiters about career opportunities via social media?

    Given the volume of applications that WestJet receives, this isn’t a viable option for recruiters at their company. However, they recommend having a detailed LinkedIn profile that their recruiters can check out.

    Max Valiquette suggested engaging recruiters smartly about their own recent social media posts. Striking up a conversation with them about their own interests as an approach.

Working at WestJet?

Q: How difficult is it really to get on with Westjet? I have heard rumors that it’s very difficult

    WestJet replied that it actually can be difficult, based on the number of applications that they receive. However, the team pointed out that being persistent usually pays off. Since then they have published a blog post on How to Get a Job at WestJet.

Q: @WestJet What sort of availability is required for a CSR position?

    Typically, WestJet looks for people with flexibility that can work 24/7, 365 days, and between 25-40 hours per week.

Q: @WestJet what kind of experience is required for CSR positions?

    Previous customer service experience is required, usually having held jobs in retail, hospitality, and related fields. It helps your chances to have a track record of having successfully dealt with people.

Q: What do you suggest to stand out in a WestJet group interview?

    Be yourself. Show your creative personality in a professional manner. Interact well with others.

Working at Bensimon Byrne?

Q: Any tips for landing an Account Coordinator position at @BensimonByrne?

    Max Valiquette suggested applying through the company’s regular channels – but also tweeting at the team’s five employees most active on social channels. Just make sure to do so with humour, insight, and respect. First, stand out by sharing something new or different, and then remind us that you’re applying. It can be a great way to distinguish yourself.

About our guests:

Brad Ewoniak

Brad Ewoniak is WestJet’s Manager of Recruiting. His career spans nearly 15 years, the last 9 of which have been spent with WestJet. Currently, he leads a team of 13 recruiters who hire for positions across Canada including executive to front line. His career in recruiting has spanned different industries, such as education, telecommunications, IT, and now the airline industry.

Lorena Marra

Lorena Marra has been with WestJet for almost 12 years, starting her career as a Flight Attendant and quickly moving up to be one of the senior recruiters at WestJet. Lorena and her team have helped recruit thousands of WestJetters. She continues to be passionate about finding new talent for WestJet’s skies. Currently, Lorena recruits all of WestJet and Encore’s In-Flight roles.

Max Valiquette

Trends, culture and marketing expert Max Valiquette is the Managing Director of Strategy at Bensimon Byrne. One of our country’s most prominent speakers on emerging trends, new media, consumer behaviour, and the youth market, Max is a social media and personal branding expert. Named “one of Canada’s most influential marketers” by Marketing Magazine, Valiquette has created industry-leading communications for some of the biggest brands in Canada and the world.


Category: Job Search Strategies,
 
  • http://blog.westjet.com/ Greg Hounslow

    Great summary, Peter. Thanks again for inviting us to be a part of the chat!

  • Nicole Wray

    Nice summary!