Tag Archives: social media

Social Networking Is Often Not Understood

Social networking is an important part of finding a job.

Social networking is an important part of finding a job.

Disclaimer: Social networking is not a substitute for attending social events, talking with others on the phone, or having lunch with someone.

To me there is no question of the growing importance of social networking for people in transition who are looking for their next career stop. However, for many middle-aged people, social networking may be something new and not something they’re right now ready to jump into with both feet in their current predicament. And that’s a shame, because employers and recruiters use it as a selection and validation tool for their prospects.

So, let’s review some of the advantages job seekers can gain by using the phenomenon of social media.

  • It is a screening tool. You can learn about others before you decide to invest your time and energy in the development of a relationship. You can find out if the other person is compatible with you or has the right connections, experience, and knowledge in your industry.
  • Using social media is less frightening. Some people have problems in cold calling someone and asking for a favor, especially when unemployed. Initiating a dialogue with someone you’ve lost contact with for years can be intimidating, but taking that first step via social media makes the reconnection more palatable.
  • It is efficient and convenient. You can conduct a large number of dialogues with many people from your kitchen table without having to waste time driving somewhere.
  • You can network 24 hours a day worldwide, because the Internet never closes and because your online profile can be viewed by anyone anywhere in the world.
  • It is a great opportunity to exhibit your skills and talent. Using social media shows potential employers that you are up to speed and up-to-date and know how to use social media effectively. That serves to differentiate you from others.
  • It is a tool for setting up an in-person meeting. Many people connect initially via the Internet, and once both parties are ready, they meet in person.
  • It shows off your brand. Again, this is another differentiator that highlights your selling points, expertises, and talents.
  • It provides a vehicle whereby to participate even if you have physical challenges such as mobility issues or you are not local.

Learning about social media is a challenge by itself, and the navigation changes frequently. Those in transition who are not ready to meet the challenge by learning how to use social media and then updating themselves on the changing features put themselves at great disadvantage.

Link Social Media with Your Career Goals

4355757753_70f08de04aWhy 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 reconnection 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.

Information Overload for People in Transition

Getty photo

Getty photo

Just two decades ago, finding a suitable job was simplistic. People wrote their own résumés, had them edited by trusted friends, and walked into the interview with confidence about having been for a long time in the previous job that he must have been good at because of a lengthy tenure. Since then, though, the job-finding process has evolved dramatically. In the current job market, where competition is the modus operandi, job seekers must excel at everything they do. Otherwise, they will be outshone by others.

Finding a job nowadays—in this era of specialization—one must excel in the following three areas.

The Résumé

Endless articles and books have been written about how to create a winning résumé. They were written by experts of course. But are you an expert at writing your own résumé? Are you that good that you can read an article or even a book and become able to follow the expert’s advice and subsequently produce a fantastic, exceptional, and outstanding résumé? I think I know what your answer is. And that’s the reason that for several years I’ve been recommending that job seekers hire a certified, professional résumé writer. There are loads of them out there, but only a few have proved themselves time after time and are being continuously recommended. Those are the only ones you should engage.

Interview Preparation

Because so many well-qualified candidates are competing for the same single opening, employers have had to become more sophisticated in their selection processes—and they have. That fact places a heavy-duty burden on the applicant to be well prepared for tough interview questions. Again, many articles have been written such as “How to Ace an Interview”; and it’s most likely that experts have written them. Are you one? Are you ready to face that tough and very selective hiring manager? Yes, you might be, but not until you’ve prepared for many hours for that interview. And I do mean for many hours. And then there’s a stint of practice with a qualified person—preferably a career coach who has expertise in the specific area of interview skills. Could you imitate Fred Astaire by reading a book about dancing?

Participation in Social Media

Probably this is the most difficult part. Social media have evolved in the past several years to become the differentiators among job seekers. Your knowledgeable participation in and use of social media effectively increase severalfold your chances of getting an interview—same as the reason that people buy several lottery tickets. However, social media are evolving so fast that neither candidates nor employers are expert at manipulating them. For both job seekers and employers, LinkedIn is the predominant medium, and Googling for information is the norm. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: The world of social media is actually the 80 percent of the iceberg that lies hidden under the water. And ignoring that 80 percent is not the answer, because if it manages to cause a hole in your boat, it will surely sink you.