Why is the phenomenon of social media so important?
Social media serve to develop mutual relationships based on trust. It is a very broad-based approach, as opposed to traditional networking, which is more targeted and narrower. For example, if you have a LinkedIn profile, a Web site, or a blog, people come to you to learn more about you. This way, you are pulling viewers toward you. Now compare that with the endless junk mail—electronic and otherwise—we all receive, which is pushing irrelevant information toward you.
Social media have many advantages for job seekers, because social media
- Can communicate your brand.
- Can showcase your technical skills.
- Enable you to build your credibility and trust.
- Can hide liabilities and shortcomings.
- Are platforms for scheduling in-person meetings.
- Are less intimidating.
- Can be used as screening tools.
- Are very efficient because they work around the clock.
Social media offer job seekers many benefits, because social media
- Enable people to network when convenient and to the extent they want to.
- Let people remain connected by staying in the game; otherwise, they are left out.
- Enable social networking that amplifies job seekers’ chances but is not a substitute for other job search activities.
- Are means for inputting one’s own opinions and for receiving the opinions of others with similar issues.
- Help create a target list for identifying potential employers based on others’
- Help job seekers find people within that target list.
- Make job seekers more visible to recruiters.
- Can lead to re-connection with people from your past.
Social media are prevalent big time today and are only going to grow and become even more important. When talking about social media, one cannot ignore one’s brand. But what is brand when talking about people? One’s brand is a composite of appearance, communication style, online identity, skills, contributions, goals, values, and the like. For recruiters and employers, if you have no online identity or brand, you simply do not exist.
Certainly, Google is the dominant search engine, but there are many others.
Online appearance is measured in quality and quantity. What matters is the relevance of your brand, and that brand could also be outside professional circles. It’s also important not to have negative reference or mentions such as personal information, which should be restricted, or opinions or associations that might be controversial, such as embarrassing photos. For job seekers, contradictions or outright lies on the résumé could be damaging. Also avoid irrelevant information because it distracts from what’s important.