Principal, Splash Communications, LLC
Last week, I chatted with my graduating niece about her job search. She was using traditional methods – posting on Monster.com and lots of networking. I asked her about social media, but besides Facebook, she wasn’t using any. That’s fine for a scientist, but it’s a different story if you are entering the PR industry.
Today, to up your chances of landing that dream job, you must incorporate new techniques into your job search arsenal. Social media is the new calling card. (Check out this story in the New York Times).
The two easiest types of social media to experiment with are blogging and Twitter. My own view on Facebook is that, as a perspective employer, I am not going to Friend you. Facebook was designed for college student interaction and I don’t need to know every detail of your personal life. If you want to Friend me, however, I’ll accept, and I will browse!
So let’s talk about three reasons why blogs and Twitter can enhance your job search:
- Demonstrates Your Familiarity with Social Media Tools. Facebook, Twitter, blogging…the face of PR has changed in the past several years. These new ways of communicating are now standard in many PR programs. Employers want to know that you can effectively use these tools – and help them innovate with them too.
- Provides a Personal Snapshot. A resume is one dimensional but a blog is practically a breathing and living piece of you. Posts (or tweets) provide details about your interests, your ideas, and your passions. This can help you jump off the page and land you ahead of another (duller!) candidate.
- Shows Your Judgment. Trust. Every employer wants to know that you will represent them well and stay true to their brand. What you post on a blog or Twitter is a litmus test for this. If you are writing about your recent break up or lamenting how desperately you need a job (actual posts I’ve seen), this does not inspire confidence. If you don’t show discretion when you are representing yourself, hiring managers know this quality will not magically appear on the job. If you chose to write a personal blog, that is fine – just don’t share it with a future employer.
Our fantastic Splash intern Esther Reynolds (BU COM) brought up interesting questions on the topic of authenticity. She asks, “With the increasing transparency and participation in all of the various web-based conversations, how much are college students expected to convey? Is authenticity and openness only acceptable when it is tailored in a certain way or are we entering an age where barriers are being broken down and a more tolerant attitude is taking over? Lastly, do employers really frown on seeing a red Solo cup in a tagged picture, regardless of whether it contains Sprite or Smirnoff?
”What do you think?