Networking is an essential part of building wealth – Armstrong Williams
Previously, we have discussed this digital era and established that social media is an organic component in our job search. Employers are not only screening our profiles when applying for jobs, they are also out their on social media looking for the best talent. A standard CV is no longer enough to stand out in this global and highly competitive job market. Hence, if we can establish an insightful and reputable online image, it can very easily be used to our advantage.
A survey by Bullhorn, a 14-year-old Boston company that creates technology products for recruiters, suggests LinkedIn still dominates the world of recruitment. 98.2% of recruiters who used some form of social recruiting in 2012 (up 4% from the prior year). 97.3% are using LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, 51.3% used Facebook, and 45.3% used Twitter (Adams, 2013).
Apparently, some recruiters believe if you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. This supports the point Web Scientist Lisa Harris made in a session on this topic that if employers look for us and find nothing it can also be suspicious and raise questions as to what we are doing with our time.
This is not to say that those with underdeveloped or no online identities are not competent or not using their time efficiently. Yet the survey highlights that recruiters check us up on LinkedIn as soon as they receive our CVs. So for those, like me, who are yet to create a profile, I believe it’s time to take a shot in the dark. Who knows what we could achieve?
A dedicated advocate of Ted Talks, I must share this video on Personal Branding by graphic designer Jacob Cass. He discusses how to create our personal brand through blogging and social media, with great personal examples.
This supports one of the points made in a Havard Business Review article The Future of You. Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic argues that in order to consistently progress up the career ladder we must master Self branding, Entrepreneurship and Hyperconnectivity.
I believe social media is a platform for us to share our skills. As previously mentioned I regularly post my art and poems online and hope to be able to blog consistently on various topics of interest by the end of this module. Chamorro states ‘being a brand means showcasing that which makes you special’.
Therefore, when defining our brand what should we take into consideration? Well Jacob Cass suggests:
- Our goals: Have an idea of what we want to achieve
- Audience: Target your websites and brand to the industry you wish to work for
- USP: Differentiate ourselves from the crowd
- Visual Identity: Should reflect your brand
Most importantly, it is important for us to be distinguishable from others, consistent with our uploads but also ensure that we share relevant and meaningful information.
By doing so, we are ‘adding value to society’, which is essential when becoming proficient in entrepreneurship. He encourages his readers to become ‘change-agents’ by tuning in to our ideas and defying the status quo. Hence by, ‘bridging the gap between social knowledge and collective interests’ we shall become a hyperconnectors (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2013). As a hyperconnector we are able to utilise our relationships with others. Although, I maintain the view that in order for networking to be fully effective, we must infact build authentic relationships. This will empower us to construct a solid and fruitful foundation.
Does this then suggest that the seismic shift employment has undertaken in this digital era has led us to become commodities?
Here is a comment from one reader on the The Future of You article.
I believe he accentuates critical concerns. Today, we are literally expected to ‘sell ourselves’. Thus, are we more concerned with the outward value of ourselves and products rather than the true value?
Overall, I do believe there are lessons to be learnt. Below is Adam Pacitti, an unemployed graduate who spent his last £500 on a billboard that concisely requested a job.
He is a great example of thinking outside the box, using social media to his advantage and reaping great rewards as a result of doing so. In less that 24 hours his tweet was retweeted over 12,300 times, video seen over 8000 times and picked up by 5 newspapers in 24 hours.
The power of social media is indisputable.
Adams, S. 2013. New Survey: LinkedIn More Dominant Than Ever Among Job Seekers And Recruiters, But Facebook Poised To Gain. [online] March 2, 2013. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/02/05/new-survey-linked-in-more-dominant-than-ever-among-job-seekers-and-recruiters-but-facebook-poised-to-gain/ [Accessed: 5 Mar 2014].
Chamorro-Premuzic, T. 2014. The Future of You. [online] January 1, 2013. Available at: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/01/the-future-of-you/ [Accessed: 4 March 2013]
Jonak, A. 2013. Case Study: Lessons from “Employ Adam”…. http://simplesells.tumblr.com/, [blog] 2013, Available at: http://simplesells.tumblr.com/post/39581510026/employadam [Accessed: 4 Mar 2014].