Career Success: Is Social Media An Asset or Liability?

Social media is big business.  Not only is it being increasingly used by recruiters and employers to advertise opportunities it is increasingly being used by candidates to showcase themselves to potential employers.

One would think that with such a huge of number of people on the major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn that it can only be an asset and that there are really no downsides.

Let’s consider LinkedIn which many would say is the most professional and business like of all the social media platforms.  Some of the real advantages of it are that:

  • You can upload your CV and let potential employers see what you can offer.
  • The current and past roles allow you to easily show the progressions you have made in your career.
  • You can highlight areas where you have specific skills and expertise that can get you found in searches
  • It’s very easy to update to take account of new achievements or successes.

All of the above I am sure are things that we would all regard as assets.  On the other hand there are downsides too:

  • It’s easy to forget that one of the first ports of calls for a recruiter and even a potential employer is to go and check out your profile.  Is it presenting you in the way that you would like?
  • When there is a discussion going on in a group and someone has a very different perspective to you, how do you respond?  In the heat of the moment you can respond in a way that is out of character.  However it is on the net in black and white for all to see.
  • You can easily be just a little too over optimistic with your claims.  Honesty really is the best policy as the last thing you want is a situation where what you present in writing and how you present in interview does not stack up.

So what are my tips when it comes to using social media to help you in your career?

  1. Always present yourself as professionally as you would if it was in writing or in person that you were presenting yourself.
  2. Respond to topics on groups constructively.
  3. Be willing to share your insights.
  4. See it as one of several strategies rather than the only strategy for career success.

The Bottom Line: Social media opens up new opportunities to showcase you and your career success.  Make sure you don’t make the mistake of falling into the trap of social media becoming a barrier to you moving forward in your career.

Duncan Brodie helps professionals to be more successful in their careers.  Learn more here.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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