Via Madison.com : How Social Media Can Lead to Your Next Job
Most people view social media — at least Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) — as places for fun. These sites are to keep in touch with friends and family, post vacation or meal photos, and generally a way to share your life with people you know.
Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) LinkedIn, of course, has a more direct connection to employment. It’s built around finding jobs and building professional connections, but the reality is that all social media offers career-building opportunities.
Connecting with people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social site can be the beginning of a relationship that leads to new opportunities. It’s all about making connections and turning strangers into acquaintances and eventually friends.
Social media is a way to make new friends who might be able to help you down the line. Image source: Getty Images.
How do you start?
The first thing you need to do before using social media to benefit your career is make sure you have sanitized your platforms. This means definitely taking down references to anything illegal and those photos of you having partied a little too much.
You decide exactly where the line is. Some people would suggest taking down all political posts, but that’s a personal choice. It’s probably a good idea to leave politics off LinkedIn, but if your beliefs define you and may impact your career choices, share them, but avoid anything too extreme.
I tend to use Facebook as my method of connecting with people. That includes reaching out to people I have met in the real world. This may mean friending a public relations person I shared a parenting story with or connecting with someone I met randomly in my personal life.
I’ve created a broad network that includes family, friends, colleagues, past colleagues, a few fans, some members of bands I like, and friends of friends with overlapping interests. As I interact with these people and their posts, sometimes relationships are built.
Social media can show you what you have in common with virtual strangers. You may bond over your kids or that you both watch Daredevil. It doesn’t really matter how or over what you connect. Actual bonds can be built simply because you learn that your high school friend’s friend posts really interesting insight or that the person you met on the train has amazing taste in music.
What do you do with your connections?
Most people like to help their friends. I’ve had Facebook and Twitter friends help me make connections at companies that weren’t returning my phone calls. I’ve also had social media connections serve as sources for stories and connect me with people they knew who fit the bill.
A social media friend is like any other friend. You have to gauge whether what your asking is reasonable. If you know I live in south Florida, it’s reasonable to ask for hotel recommendations. It’s not quite so reasonable to ask if you can move in for a week.
If someone you know digitally can open a door for you, ask politely. It’s also reasonable to put out broad requests like, “I’m looking for a job and have 12 years of non-profit accounting experience.” That makes it possible for people to help and it gives them a chance to be a hero, both to you and to the person looking for someone with your experience.
Just be you
My social media plan isn’t overly calculated. I’m not seeking out contacts in a planned way, I’m simply treating Facebook and Twitter (and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn) as one big cocktail party. It’s a chance to meet people and make friends. If those friends can later help me, or I can help them, well, that’s a delightful cherry on top of an already delicious dessert.
Via NJ Biz : Social media management skills bolster your resume — and enhance your career
We live our lives — and do business — through social media. Over 2 billion social media users worldwide spend an average of two and a half hours per day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. And they’re doing more than sharing vacation photos or following their favorite celebrities.
Research has found 74 percent of consumers rely on social media to make purchasing decisions. In turn, social media has become a powerful tool used by businesses to build brands, sell products and deliver services to customers.
As social media becomes woven into our lives, businesses are spending more resources than ever to reach consumers and customers in these digital spaces. According to a recent report by Statistia, social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide between 2014 and 2016 —going from $16 billion to $31 billion. Social media spending in the U.S. alone is expected to reach $17.3 billion by 2019.
Employers are looking for people at all career levels – from entry-level positions to the C-suite, who understand how social media works and how to leverage this technology to build the bottom line. Recruiting site Indeed.com currently lists over 700 social media manager jobs in New Jersey, for Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson and Verizon as well as small businesses, advertising agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Social media specialists can earn from $46,000 to $71,000 annually, and social media marketing managers command salaries in the range of $115,000.
Social media skills are an important part of the manager’s tool kit. Older professionals in particular may feel the need to bolster their expertise and knowledge in this area. They may be familiar with Facebook and LinkedIn from personal use, but less conversant with platforms more popular with 20-somethings like WhatsApp and Snapchat. Understanding the ever expanding array of social media channels, the potential opportunities (and threats) they create for organizations, and knowing how to use social media to further business objectives are common concerns for managers across a range of industries and disciplines.
Building Social Media Expertise
How do older professionals build their fluency with how social media works as a business tool? “Reverse mentoring” is one option, particularly for senior executives, who can be partnered with a younger social media expert for one-to-one tutorials.
For most managers, the most expedient course is to explore adult learning programs that provide an overview of current and emerging technologies as well, as practical experience using social media in business applications.
While the chosen program depends on the student’s personal interests and career goals, a robust social media adult learning program should offer the following components:
- A thorough grounding in the principles of strategic marketing, advertising and data analytics. It is important to understand how social media tools fit with the overall marketing strategy of a company, and how to use these tools to build relationships with consumers and customers and gain insights into their wants and needs.
- A framework for evaluating new digital marketing tools. An academic program should provide students with a methodology and criteria or assessing the value a social media tool brings to an organization, for example, the level of customer engagement it allows.
- Hands on experience working with social media in a business environment. For example, Centenary University’s School for Professional Studies (SPS) in Parsippany offers a social media lab called #theVIBE modeled on modern, urban start-up work environments. In this interactive, digital workspace, students learn how to use “listening software” to monitor the voice of the world on social media, and how to collaborate to develop social media marketing solutions. Students also work with small businesses to audit their existing social media programs and tools and recommend improvements.
- Opportunities for students to learn from each other as well as from the instructors. Adult learning programs bring together diverse student bodies, including recent graduates, older professionals and senior executives. A director of marketing from a Fortune 500 company who works on big brands can be sitting next to a 25-year old marketing trainee who is just beginning her career. The marketing executive shares insights on how to build brands and manage advertising programs with the young professional, while she can relate her personal experience as a social media user.
- Professional certifications that bolster the student’s resume. Adult learners should seek courses that provide industry recognition such as Facebook certification in digital advertising or Google certification in analytics, as well a certificate from the university attesting to their completion of the full course of study in social media marketing.
The uses of social media as a business tool are rapidly evolving as new technologies and applications emerge and new players enter the scene. Staying current on developments in social media, and thinking about the impact of these changes on your organization and your career, will be key to your personal and professional success in a digital world.
via Forbes : 9 Career Killing Social Media Mistakes To Avoid
Social media is playing an increasing role in the way companies run their business, including how they hire. According to CareerBuilder, 60% of hiring managers check out applicants’ social media presence as part of their screening process and over 25% of employers report terminating or reprimanding an employee due to social media faux pas.
You can argue about whether it’s right or fair for hiring managers to snoop around on your social media accounts. Clearly, they are doing it anyway. This means that you have to be vigilant.
I asked my readers over at Twitter what career killing mistakes applicants and employees should avoid on social media and got dozens of replies. Here are the best responses.
1. Being dramatic, combative or insulting
“We all have those moments. You post something and some rude person tries to call you out, or you see a post denigrating a friend. In those moments, you might want to give somebody a very public piece of your mind. Resist the urge. Likewise, reconsider sharing your personal or family drama on social media as well. Employers will worry that your lack of discretion could carry over into the workplace.” – Tony Messer, CEO of Wizz Hosting.
2. Having the wrong friends
“Some people are a lot of fun, but being around them can create situations where your professional credibility can hurt you, which can eventually hurt your financial prospects. For example, imagine somebody posting an inappropriate comment about your school/university partying days when you share an innocent throwback Thursday picture. Don’t let others cast you in a bad light. Make generous use of the hide functionality in order to prevent people from making embarrassing comments.” – Shaun Deans, CTO of Cash Stop.
3. Posting when you should be working
“It’s not just what you post, but when you post as well. Potential employers may be concerned if you are posting too much on social media when you should be working. Your current employer will be bothered by this as well.” – Peter Trebek CEO of GoTranscript.
4. Bad-mouthing past employers
“As a leader, recruiter and trainer for the past 30 years, I’ve always found the words and language a candidate uses to be strong indicators of who you might be partnering with. For me, I’ve always listened for keywords, such as contribution, success, ownership, integrity, and an ownership mentality. “I immediately shy away from candidates who use “they” and “couldn’t,” and who display problem-oriented versus solution-oriented dialogue. Social media provides an opportunity to learn about a candidate prior to investing time and energy on a phone or face-to-face conversation. Remember, once those words cross your lips or leave your finger tips, they are available for everyone to see. Forever.” – Carey F. Wolf, VP of Sales, IntelliQuote.
5. Lack of discretion when interviewing with big name employers
“You’ve landed an interview with one of those companies. You know, one of the dream companies that make the ‘best places to work’ lists every year? Now what? Well, first of all, be discrete. The last thing you want to do is spread it around social media, start name dropping, or giving out insider info.” – Jonathan Good, CMO of MindLabPro.
6. Poor grammar and spelling in your posts
“Yes, social media is a casual platform, and you aren’t required to use the Queen’s English. That doesn’t mean that you can get by with posts that are full of embarrassing spelling and grammar errors. Employ a bit of editing to ensure that your posts meet some basic standards of quality.” – Michael Corkery, President of Pool Guard USA.
7. Professional profiles that contradict your resume
“It isn’t necessarily a problem to strategically write your resume to make yourself look as good as possible, unless you tell a lie. The fastest way to tell a lie and get caught is to forget to bring your social media profiles in line with your resume. For example, if you would prefer to leave a short, regrettable job off of your resume, then you should probably leave it off of your social profiles as well.” – Dan Fox, CEO of Boss Laser.
8. Failing to establish a social media presence whatsoever
“You might be tempted to simply eliminate your social media presence entirely or never start one to begin with. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea. Many employers won’t consider someone who doesn’t have a social media presence. Besides, there’s so much good that having a social media presence can do for your career.” – Peter Mendez, CEO of Crafted NY.
9. Forwarding spam chain mail and false news posts
“Unfortunately, it’s become nearly impossible to scroll through your feed without seeing a post that claims you must share it lest you be accused of being heartless in some way, or threatening you with bad luck if you don’t pass it along. Not only are these posts irritating to others when you pass them along, potential employers view them negatively as well. Resist the urge to forward these, doing so casts doubt on your critical thinking skills and judgment.” – Judith Bolen, CEO of Five Aces Plumbing.
via AARP : Polish Your Social Media Image
Like it or not, all your social media posts about your children and grandchildren, politics, vacations and whatever else strikes your fancy present a portrait of you to the world. Just as we remind our kids that the kind of image they create online will follow them, your personal “brand” also matters — whether you work full time, part time or volunteer.
So does that call for keeping your social media accounts professionally focused? Not necessarily, say two career experts. But they agree that your online image must be carefully curated.
“On social media you want to show what you’re good at beyond what you ate for breakfast or that you have 10 grandkids,” says Jean Baur, author of Eliminated! Now What? “Think of branding yourself online as who you want to be known as.” That can relate to work or an avocation. Baur, for example, brands herself as both a career coach and a therapy dog advocate.
A social media presence proves that you’re not a complete dinosaur when it comes to technology. Don’t wait until you’re downsized on the job before creating a social media footprint. “If you’re a boomer who needs or wants to work, it’s really smart to have some social media presence,” Baur says.
Start with a LinkedIn account, the first place employers look. Make sure to list your top accomplishments and skills, and ask people to endorse your skills. It’s also important to use key words — sales, marketing, project management — that HR scans for in résumés. And lose the vacation photo. Instead, post a good headshot. If this seems a bit overwhelming, Baur suggests heading to the local library, where free tech help with social media is often available. Or check out aarp.org/academy for free video courses on the topic.
The next step is to do some spring-cleaning on your Facebook page, says Robin Ryan, author of Over 40 & You’re Hired! “Younger HR professionals especially check out Facebook, which too often presents an open book on your life. “We learn everything that you blab to the world, from hating your new hair color to your take on politics,” she says.
Here are Ryan’s tips for cleaning up your Facebook page:
- Remove any political statements, including photos at demonstrations. “Those comments and photos make employers nervous that a person will come in and cause problems with other employees.”
- Review party photos. While photos of family fun are OK, make sure that you’re not having too good a time in pictures posted on your own page or on friends’ pages.
- Don’t bad-mouth your current job. “If you took a spa day … fine. But don’t write that you needed it because your work is so stressful.”
- Delete comments that show bias. “Even an offhand comment or a joke can be perceived as racist. Diversity is a big issue.”
If stripping your Facebook page of all opinion seems impossible, then consider a professional page with only posts and accomplishments related to your career or avocation. The posts can be informative (a news item) or fun (a video), but taken together they present a professional image rather than a personal one. Another alternative is to maximize privacy settings to keep the world out and only close family and friends in.
An edited Facebook page or separate one can be a launching pad for a career change or part-time work. If your dream is to turn your passion for quilting into a career, Ryan says to share that with quilting posts and look for Facebook pages devoted to quilting.
What about Twitter and Instagram? Instagram is used mainly for fun, although many people also create an image (perhaps unconsciously), posting only food or travel photos.
Twitter is a great way to follow people with similar passions, Ryan says: “Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, you’re not likely to get millions of followers, but you can still use Twitter to connect with others.”
allBusiness : Not getting any job offers? Your social media activity could be the reason
Social media. For some it has been a godsend. An escape into a virtual world where you can let off steam, play games, and share your favorite photos. Unfortunately, all good things have side effects.
For those who have decided to leave entrepreneurship behind and return to the workforce, securing a position is sometimes difficult. Many people are finding that failure to secure a position with a company is coming down to their social media activity.
More and more employers are doing background checks on applicants and current employees by visiting their social networks. Before you start sending out job applications, clean up your social media accounts. You will want to delete anything you think could show you in a bad light.
Businesses can make stupid mistakes on social media that turn off potential customers. In the same way, people can make stupid mistakes that turn off potential employers.
Employers Are Indeed Checking
Don’t believe that companies will check your social media profile? Guess again. A Career Builder survey found that 37% of companies use social networks to research job candidates.`
“I would think that number is actually much higher,” says Brad Schepp, co-author of How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in a 2012 interview. “If you were a recruiter, or a hiring manager for a company, wouldn’t you check out a potential hire through LinkedIn? Or, if you were hiring a recent grad, it would almost surely occur to you to visit their Facebook profile.”
So what are employers looking for? There are a number of things, but according to a Time article, things such as illegal drug activity, sexual references, and profanity are a few of the top turnoffs.
LinkedIn Should Be Your First Stop
The one profile you need to concentrate on the most is your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it is up-to-date as it will likely be looked at more than your resume. A LinkedIn profile is free and you can even find a job through the site, using your profile to apply for various positions with the click of a button.
A while back, I obtained expert advice on how to clean up (or create) a LinkedIn profile. Some of the best include completing your summary, job experience, and adding a professional headshot.
Make Sure to Clean Up the Others
But LinkedIn is not your only concern. Remember the time you left a negative comment about the “other” political party? How about that time you accidentally posted the “wrong” picture and failed to remove it from your feed? Well, these are things that can come back to haunt you.
It is highly recommended that you clean up anything that could be considered controversial. However, don’t whitewash your social media profile. This means that removing too much can make it seem like you don’t have any character, which could be just as bad as having a ton of baggage.
“There’s a sense that a profile with no character has probably been scraped of some racy stuff or else the person has no social skills and won’t fit in,” writes Meghan Casserly, discussing why you shouldn’t have a squeaky-clean social media profile.
The point is have a social profile that reflects a normal person, not a lunatic or someone without social skills. Potential employers need to know you are alive, but that you have nothing to hide.
Not every employer is going to check your social media profile; however, I would anticipate that many of them do. In fact, anticipate that all will be looking and take the time to clean things up. Remember to focus on things that would be considered controversial, but don’t whitewash or remove your profiles as that gives just as bad an impression.