Don’t be a so­cial me­dia lud­dite

Don’t be caught with your pants down when it comes to so­cial me­dia

Monthly Chronicle - - Careers - Paul di Michiel, Ca­reer Coach

Job search can be tough, and you don’t want to make it any tougher by ne­glect­ing so­cial me­dia or pre­tend­ing it doesn’t ex­ist.

You could bury your head in the sand like the prover­bial os­trich and say:

‘So­cial me­dia is for mil­len­ni­als!’, but all you’ll achieve by do­ing this is to cur­tail ac­cess to jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties and to con­nect and in­ter­act with oth­ers, in­clud­ing hir­ing man­agers.

So­cial me­dia is de­fined as:

Web­sites and other on­line means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that are used by large groups of peo­ple to share in­for­ma­tion and to de­velop so­cial and pro­fes­sional

con­tacts (Dic­ We live in a world where you can pur­chase din­ner, book over­seas travel and even find your life’s com­pan­ion on­line. So it should be no sur­prise then that so­cial me­dia is an in­te­gral part of a 21st cen­tury job search.

Have you ever Googled or searched for your­self on­line? If not, I sug­gest you do. Why? Be­cause this is in ef­fect your so­cial me­dia brand that oth­ers, in­clud­ing po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers, will see. In fact, around 70% of or­gan­i­sa­tions will Google you as part of a job se­lec­tion process (Ca­reer­, June 2017). So you need to be aware of what shows up on your so­cial me­dia and ad­just set­tings to en­sure noth­ing shows up that you’d be em­bar­rassed a po­ten­tial em­ployer might see.

Con­versely, you can use so­cial me­dia to learn about other peo­ple and or­gan­i­sa­tions. Un­like the days where such in­for­ma­tion was ei­ther held in the lo­cal li­brary or busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion, you can ac­cess a myr­iad of sites to do your home­work about an in­di­vid­ual or or­gan­i­sa­tion. This may be for gen­eral in­ter­est or to pre­pare for a net­work­ing meet­ing or in­ter­view.

Take it a step fur­ther and you can ap­ply for jobs on­line us­ing sites like SEEK, Adzuna and Ap­plyDirect. Not only do th­ese sites al­low you to ap­ply for jobs, but of­ten con­tain help­ful job search in­for­ma­tion. For ex­am­ple, SEEK has a ‘Ca­reers Ad­vice’ sec­tion that cov­ers a broad ar­ray of in­for­ma­tion on top­ics in­clud­ing re­sumes and in­ter­view­ing.

Hav­ing a pres­ence - and be­ing ac­tive - on so­cial me­dia also helps to al­le­vi­ate any mis­con­cep­tions about how con­tem­po­rary you are in re­la­tion to tech­nol­ogy (even if you are ma­tureaged). Some­thing as sim­ple as in­clud­ing a link to your LinkedIn pro­file on your re­sume, says that you are up-to-date and savvy when it comes to things tech­no­log­i­cal. I once worked with a client who was around 50 years old, who was asked by a much younger re­cruiter: “Do you have a com­puter at home?” One is tempted to re­spond: “No, but my stone tablet and chisel work sim­ply fine!”

One so­cial me­dia site you must be on is LinkedIn. Why?

It serves as your pri­mary on­line pro­fes­sional pro­file and will gen­er­ally show up on the first page of Google re­sults if peo­ple search for you.

Most re­cruiters use LinkedIn to find can­di­dates (it’s fun­da­men­tally a data­base and your pro­file is a ‘data­base record’), so en­sure your pro­file is as com­plete and de­tailed as pos­si­ble and con­tains search­able key­words and phrases. There are jobs posted on LinkedIn. Reg­u­lar con­tri­bu­tions to LinkedIn in the form of ar­ti­cles, or even ‘Likes’, ‘Com­ments’ and ‘Shares’ of oth­ers’ con­tri­bu­tions will both keep you in­formed and in­crease your pro­fes­sional vis­i­bil­ity.

Most im­por­tantly, LinkedIn gives you ac­cess to your ex­tended net­work. Your 1st de­gree con­nec­tions know peo­ple you don’t know (2nd de­gree con­nec­tions) and can pro­vide in­tro­duc­tions. In other words, LinkedIn fa­cil­i­tates net­work­ing, which is the tra­di­tional and most ef­fec­tive means of job search, ac­count­ing for around 70% of job place­ments.

Fi­nally, don’t think you have to be on ev­ery so­cial me­dia plat­form. Iden­tify those that give you the op­por­tu­nity to have vis­i­bil­ity and in­ter­ac­tion with your de­sired au­di­ence and go from there. If you do this, you can evolve from a so­cial me­dia lud­dite to a so­cial me­dia technophile!

Wahroonga-based Paul Di Michiel is the au­thor of Fired to Hired, The Guide to Ef­fec­tive Job Search for the Over 40s. Find out more about his ca­reer coach­ing busi­ness, The Ca­reer Medic, at: www.the­ca­reer­

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