Social Media Career Development & Job Search


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This presentation offers advice to those seeking to sharpen their online career search and professional development skills using social networks, blogs and other social media. It was given by Joel Postman, Sept. 26, at Golden Gate University.

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  • The competition for jobs is the toughest it’s been in over 50 years. Whether you’re looking for a fulltime job, consulting contract, or just want to grow your professional network, the number of people vying for attention online, and the “amplitude” they can employ, is the highest it’s ever been. Your Monster resume is almost invisible in the Web 2.0 world. What can you do about it?
  • One of the themes of my book SocialCorp is that companies can make the most of social media by following certain rules and etiquette, and by maintaining the company’s brand characteristics, like integrity, honesty, personal attention to customers, etc. At the same time, companies need to avoid certain topics and offensive remarks in their communications. If you’re looking to build your own reputation online, and attract people who will be valuable to your career, you’ll need to follow these same rules.
  • While we’re talking about rules, I like to remind people not to develop a monolithic brand, that is, one that is all business and seriousness and lacks personality. For example, I generally add to my social networking profiles that I am an experienced Zamboni driver. I often get invitations to connect from people solely because the Zamboni reference caught their attention. Does it make me better at what I do? Probably not. But it makes me more interesting.
  • It’s helpful to understand the changes to the Web that affect the job seeker or person trying to build a professional network. The introduction of social media, a new generation of web tools has changed the Web forever. There are six valuable attributes of social media generally not found in pre-Web 2.0 Web sites. Authenticity – In many cases the CEO’s message we are reading on the company’s blog was actually written by the CEO. This is something new.* Transparency – Social media can contribute to both financial transparency, letting people have an accurate and current view of a company’s finances, as well as company transparency, letting them see how a company runs, makes decisions, develops strategy, etc. Immediacy – Information can be posted via social media with a new immediacy. A blog post can be published in a fraction of the time that required to update a traditional web site. Twitter tweets, Facebook status updates etc. can be composed and “published” in seconds Participation – The web no longer belongs to only corporations and technical experts. Anyone can post content, comment, reply to comments, start a blog. etc. Connectedness – Everything in social media is connected. There are technological connections. When a blog is updated it “pings” certain services to let the web know new content is available. Feeds allow the content from a blog or web site to easily be displayed on another blog or web site. Facebook allows users to display their Twitter updates on their Facebook pages. The number of connections, visible and invisible, in social media, are staggering. Don’t forget this when you post your content. A lot more people (your boss, your co-workers, your clients) may see it than you realize. Accountability – Despite notions of anonymity on the web, there is actually heightened accountability in some social media use. On a corporate blog, for example, each post is generally identified as having been written by a certain executive, or may be identified as “company news.” This brings with it a certain ownership of the content that did not exist under the old web. IP addresses (unique web locations similar to URLs) are often captured when someone comments on a blog, and have been used to identify people who have left inappropriate remarks or those who are trying to manipulate sentiment by not identifying themselves. These factors should be considered as you use social media to develop your career and professional network. Another term that is useful to know is Web 2.0, which is basically the infrastructure that underlies these tools and makes them work. * Though some companies still insist on writing blog posts on behalf of their executives
  • In 2000, the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto identified the global “conversations” taking place on the Internet and the need for companies to join in and make a positive contribution. These conversations can be “real,” that is one-to-one on Twitter or via IM, or indirect, such as when a blogger writes a post and someone later leaves a comment. They can even be one-to-none, which is what happens when someone makes a comment about a company or asks a question of an individual that goes unanswered.
  • In order to get your information online and improve your online visibility there are many many tools you can use, most of them free. You should be on a handful of them. This increases the odds you will come to the attention of someone you need in your network. LinkedIn is probably the premiere career development tool, but increasingly, people are find more utility and flexibility with blogs. The Social Media Resume is also worth looking into.
  • You should add a large number of people to your network, at least 75 or 100. There is no utility to a career network of five people. Metcalfe, a computer engineer, came up with a law that says The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. More simply put, the more people on the network the more useful. I heard it explained this way. When there was one fax machine in the world, it was useless…
  • When there were two fax machines, those two people could fax each other. Suddenly, the fax machine had doubled its usefulness…
  • But when everyone had one, the fax machine became extremely useful. The same is true of your network. Don’t get caught up in schemes to mass add followers/friends, but do try to build each network to 75 or 100 users or more. (You’ll find Twitter numbers build easily, LinkedIn numbers less so.)
  • On each network, build a consistent and thorough profile. All of your profiles should match, in terms of experience, and should match your traditional resume as well. (Recruiters will pick up on inconsistencies.)
  • The social media resume is one possible component of your social media-base career strategy. A social media resume is visible in the Web 2.0 world (much more so than a resume on HotJobs for example), and is also formatted in a more web-friendly way. It’s not just a traditional resume pasted onto a web page, but is laid out in a way that is more useful for someone looking at a screen and not a printed document. It can also contain links to your work if it is available online. Here are 10 social media rsume sites (courtesy, 10 Great Social Sites for Resume Building, March 2009) Note that they consider LinkedIn a social media resume site. I added BYOR (Build Your Own Resume.) What I mean by this is launch a blog and build your resume on the blog instead of an external site. BYOR (Build Your Own Resume) Razume VisualCV Emurse Xing ResumeSocial ResumeBucket Gigtide LinkedIn Plaxo Ziggs
  • Guy Kawasaki’s resume is shown as an example on VisualCV.
  • The philosophy of social media marketing, whether for a product or service, or for professional development, is the antithesis of old school marketing and advertising. If you offer a a service online, the most effective approach today is “Hey! How can I help?” You should be reaching out to others, helping them answer questions, understand technical concepts, find resources, offering up whatever it is you do best and through which others can benefit. Sometimes you’ll “give away” expertise that you think you should have been paid for, but you will quickly come to be known as someone who is intelligent, informed, helpful and accommodating. Someone people want to work with. Someone people want to hire. This image is a composite based on an actual experience I had on Twitter one day. I was working on two projects, both due in two hours. There was no way I could complete both on time. Just then a friend tweeted “I’m bored. Anyone need any help with any projects?” I sent her a direct message, we switched to e-mail, discussed the project, and agreed on an hourly rate. Ninety minutes later she sent me her project, which was outstanding. I paid her by PayPal, and sent my two projects to their respective clients. In the course of two hours, a working relationship was negotiated and formed, the work completed, the provider paid in full and the working relationship dissolved. The whole thing was only possible due to the trust that had been established through our relationship on Twitter.
  • A friend of mine, Waren Sukernek, was laid off and published the tweet you see above. Not only did he receive hundreds of responses and four job offers in under a month, he came to the attention of the national media.
  • The best way to control any online agenda is to have your own platform. I recommend every professional strat a blog. Consultant Karen J. Moran calls hers “Hire Karen J. Moran.” With your own blog, you have a forum to write about your business and profession, and to demonstrate your writing skill and familiarity with social media. You can also create your own social media resume on your blog, or think of your entire blog as a social media resume.
  • David Ogilvy, generally regarded as the father of modern advertising, defined a brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised,” which is much closer to how we think of a brand today. I define a brand as “the sum total of our experiences with a company, its products, services, and employees, and the way those experiences shape our perception of the company.” Think about companies you interact with and what molds your impressions of those companies. If your last flight on jetBlue was really pleasant, you have good brand associations with the airline. If the teller at your bank was rude, it colors your feelings about the bank in general. If you accept that customer experience is an important component of a company’s brand, then everything posted about that company on Twitter, Facebook, a blog, or anywhere else online is a tiny part of that brand.
  • And just as companies have brand attributes, so do you. What are your most important characteristics as a professional? What to people recognize and admire you for? These are the things you should highlight in all of your social media. Write a blog post demonstrating your expertise. Post a link on Facebook to an article in which your work has been recognized, or retweet something interesting from a friend on Twitter to show you’re connected to industry news.
  • So there are a couple of basics to social networking. Let’s go through them. Develop your personal brand. Write it down. It is the messaging for your online campaign . – Think about those characteristics that define you, the ones we just talked about, your brand attributes, and highlight them in what you post on Twitter and Facebook, what you write on your blog, etc. Develop a brand “platform,” a brief statement or bullet list for your own use. Present yourself consistently everywhere. Network in a brand-conscious way. Be consistent in how you act and how you present yourself. Don’t create an image for yourself. Let your strengths and accomplishments come through authentically. Be direct. It’s the nature of social networking that things happen quickly. Sometimes you’re working with 140 characters or less, as you do on Twitter. Don’t waste time. Don’t be abrupt, but do be direct. “I think we could help you on that project. Get in touch!” Be creative. In this case I’m telling you to break one or more of the rules I’ve laid out. Do something other than hang around on Twitter all day. Launch your own webcast. Ask a favorite blogger if he/she accepts guest posts and write one. Go to a live networking event and sing karaoke. Rise above the noise. Be detailed. Maintaining online profiles and resumes can be a nightmare. Create a file with your bio, resume, brand attributes and anything else you tend to use online and keep it on your desktop so you can use it every time you create an online profile, and so that you have something to build on when you come up with information you want to add. Network by the rules. Every network has its rules, some spelled out and others driven by user behavior. For instance, you’re not supposed to add people you don’t know on Plaxo, and if you do so too often on LinkedIn, you can have your account shut down. You’ll also annoy people and earn a reputation as a spammer. Build a multi-channel (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) online presence I talked about Metcalfe’s Law, the increase in value of the network as connections are added. The same is true for network channels. Build your network on there, four, five, or maybe more platforms like a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. There is some overlap but different people use different networks. You will reach more people at more times of day in more parts of the world (etc.) with this strategy. NEVER break character This is something Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystems, always used to say before there were social networks. Act with integrity and professionalism everywhere, online and off, and on every social network. One off-color joke or inopportune remark can cost you a relationship or a job. It doesn’t matter if you’re “working” or not. The clock has become irrelevant. Everything you say online can be discovered and read by someone who is deciding whether to work with you.
  • I mentioned a moment ago that you should “network by the rules.” Here are some basics.
  • A recent pool by Harris Interactive and CareerBuilder revealed that 5% of recruiters use social networking sites to research candidates, and that another 11% would soon start doing the same. Recruiters use a variety of sites and reject candidates on a variety of bases. Note that 14% of recruiters rejected candidates who use “emoticons.” Think about that the next time you want to use a smiley face in a tweet. Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder poll, Aug. 19, 2009
  • In the same survey, recruiters noted what they like to see in an online profile. I think this closely tracks what they have always looked for in a traditional resume. Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder poll, Aug. 19, 2009
  • Rosemary Haefner, VP of Human Resources for CareerBuilder offered this advice for job seekers.
  • My best advice is – Don’t look for a job, look for people. Use social networking and your blog to connect with professionals in your field. Times are tough, and social media isn’t a miracle cure for the difficulties of the 2009 job market. But if you play by the rules and build a good network of friends and associates, it could easily lead you to your next job
  • Social Media Career Development & Job Search

    1. 1. Golden Gate University Career Development & Job Search in a Social Media World Joel Postman September 26, 2009 San Francisco, California
    2. 4. Social media & Web 2.0 <ul><li>Authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Immediacy </li></ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Connectedness </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul>Six valuable attributes of social media <ul><li>Social media: a new generation of web tools </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0: the infrastructure that underlies these tools and makes them work </li></ul>
    3. 5. <ul><li>On the Internet, markets are getting more connected and more powerfully vocal every day, These markets want to talk , just as they did for the thousands of years that passed before market became a verb…It is a place where people can go to learn, to talk to each other, to do business together… It is a conversation . </li></ul>The Cluetrain Manifesto, 2000, Perseus Publishing ” “
    4. 6. Build your social media arsenal <ul><li>Twitter – Add followers in similar industries with like interests </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook – Add friends and colleagues, past and present </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc. – Build a complete, useful profile, follow the etiquette, add only people you know </li></ul><ul><li>Blog – Your personal platform to showcase your expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr – Be visual </li></ul><ul><li>Seesmic & Qik – Get comfortable with video </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized professional networks and communities </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Resume </li></ul>
    5. 7. Metcalfe’s Law <ul><li>The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. </li></ul>“ ”
    6. 8. Metcalfe’s Law <ul><li>The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. </li></ul>“ ”
    7. 9. Metcalfe’s Law <ul><li>The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. </li></ul>“ ”
    8. 11. Social media resume (aka online resume) <ul><li>BYOR (Build Your Own Resume) </li></ul><ul><li>Razume </li></ul><ul><li>VisualCV </li></ul><ul><li>Emurse </li></ul><ul><li>Xing </li></ul><ul><li>ResumeSocial </li></ul><ul><li>ResumeBucket </li></ul><ul><li>Gigtide </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>Plaxo </li></ul><ul><li>Ziggs </li></ul>, 10 Great Social Sites for Resume Building, March 2009
    9. 13. Business 2.0: “Hey! How can I help?” <ul><li>Based on trust, mutual interests </li></ul><ul><li>Built on reputation, knowledge, value, altruism </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual and ad hoc </li></ul><ul><li>Conversational </li></ul>
    10. 14. Warren’s Twitter social media job search <ul><li>Started on Twitter the day he was fired </li></ul><ul><li>Within three weeks 250 responses, 20 interviews, four job offers </li></ul>
    11. 16. <ul><li>A brand is the sum total of our experiences with a company, its products, services, and employees, and the way those experiences shape our perception of the company. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>” “
    12. 17. The “Personal Brand” <ul><li>Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Connections </li></ul><ul><li>Professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>What are your personal brand attributes? </li></ul>
    13. 18. Online career search essentials <ul><li>Develop your personal brand. Write it down. It is the messaging for your online campaign. </li></ul><ul><li>Present yourself consistently everywhere. </li></ul><ul><li>Be direct. </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative. </li></ul><ul><li>Be detailed. </li></ul><ul><li>Network by the rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Build a multi-channel (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) online presence </li></ul><ul><li>NEVER break character. </li></ul>
    14. 19. Social network etiquette <ul><li>Learn and follow the etiquette of each network you use – it varies </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: find people with similar careers, interests, backgrounds. Following people you don’t know is OK. They don’t have to follow back. </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn: connect only with people with whom you have some legitimate connection. Too many IDKs (“I Don’t Know”s) can get you banned. </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook similar to LinkedIn, less chance of getting banned (you can ask anyone to be your friend) </li></ul><ul><li>Overt commercialism is frowned on – Instead of hype, offer something of value </li></ul>
    15. 20. 5% of recruiters use social networking sites to research candidates <ul><li>“ Thirty-five percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate.” </li></ul><ul><li>Fifty three percent won’t hire if they find provocative photos, 44% dismissed candidates with booze or drugs related content and 35% reported they didn’t hire a candidate due to badmouthing a previous employer. </li></ul><ul><li>Fourteen percent rejected candidates who used emoticons :-( </li></ul><ul><li>29 percent use Facebook, 26 percent use LinkedIn and 21 percent use MySpace. One-in-ten (11 percent) search blogs while 7 percent follow candidates on Twitter. </li></ul><ul><li>Another 11% of recruiters have similar plans soon </li></ul>Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder poll, Aug. 19, 2009
    16. 21. What recruiters liked <ul><li>Profile provided a good feel for the candidate's personality and fit within the organization - 50 percent </li></ul><ul><li>Profile supported candidate's professional qualifications - 39 percent </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate was creative - 38 percent </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate showed solid communication skills - 35 percent </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate was well-rounded - 33 percent </li></ul><ul><li>Other people posted good references about the candidate - 19 percent </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate received awards and accolades - 15 percent </li></ul>Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder poll, Aug. 19, 2009
    17. 22. Social network do’s and don’ts for job seekers <ul><li>DO clean up digital dirt BEFORE you begin your job search. Remove any photos, content and links that can work against you in an employer's eyes. </li></ul><ul><li>DO consider creating your own professional group on sites like Facebook or to establish relationships with thought leaders, recruiters and potential referrals. </li></ul><ul><li>DO keep gripes offline. Keep the content focused on the positive, whether that relates to professional or personal information. Makes sure to highlight specific accomplishments inside and outside of work. </li></ul><ul><li>DON'T forget others can see your friends, so be selective about who you accept as friends. Monitor comments made by others. Consider using the &quot;block comments&quot; feature or setting your profile to &quot;private&quot; so only designated friends can view it. </li></ul><ul><li>DON'T mention your job search if you're still employed. </li></ul>Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder poll, Aug. 19, 2009 Rosemary Haefner, VP of Human Resources, CareerBuilder
    19. 24. [email_address]