You have been hearing a lot about social networking, but you haven’t jumped on board yet. There are many reasons that you haven’t embraced this new trend: you are busy; it seems difficult; and you wonder if all this hype will pass. However, if you are job seeker, (or may be one in the future), then you are missing a valuable opportunity.
Here are five reasons that you need to be active on social networking sites:
1. You can make connections. Social networking sites give you the opportunity to make connections with new people in your industry, and they also help you to stay in touch with people who you have worked with in the past.
2. You can prove that you’ve kept yourself current. If you are comfortable with social networking sites, it demonstrates that you are adaptable, and that you haven’t let yourself get out of date. Employers will be impressed with your social networking skills, and it may give them confidence that you’ve also kept current with your other job related skills.
3. You can take control of your online profile. If a potential employer googled your name, what would they find? Pictures of you drinking beer with your friends? An unfortunate essay that you posted online when you were a college student? Countless articles showcasing your political affiliations? It can be difficult, or even impossible to remove these online relics of your past. However, by being active on social networking sites, you can ensure that the profiles that you have carefully crafted show up near the top of the page, and that the other pictures, articles, and essays are relegated to the bottom (or even to the next page).
4. You can keep on top of what’s happening. Social networking sites provide you with up-to-the-minute updates on what is happening in your industry. They make it easy for you to stay on top of trends, current research, and any relevant events. This information can help you to impress employers, and to identify potential opportunities.
5. You can showcase your knowledge and skills. In the past, you may have had skills, but weren’t able to demonstrate them until an employer provided you with the opportunity. Now it is so much easier. Through blogs, Twitter, and online discussions, you can put your expertise on public display. It is like having an online portfolio. Take this opportunity to show employers what you have to offer.
While social networking will continue to change and evolve, it’s not going disappear. It has already changed the way that we socialize, do business, and interact with our world. American writer, Alvin Toffler said, “Tomorrow’s illiterate will not be the man who can’t read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn.” To be a success, it is important to embrace this new technology and the opportunities that it has to offer.
(Written by Karen Bivand)