Personal Social Media Experience: A Negative for Job Seekers?

Posted on April 18th 2011



(Note: This is a personal post.)

As you might know, I am looking for my next career opportunity.

What you may not know is that I have been looking for over 3.5 months with barely a nibble from potential employers. And I am not alone; there are a lot of exceptional marketing and PR professionals who have been unemployed for years.

Recently, a recruiter helped me to understand today’s job market with this advice:

“Remove all of your personal speaking, writing, blogging, and social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, SlideShare links, etc.) items from your resume. Companies don’t give a crap about that, they only care what you will do for them. Those items are red flags letting them know that you’ll request to be out of the office speaking or on Twitter all day and that you will not be helping to solve their day-to-day problems (i.e. tactical work).

There it is. A dose of reality.
 
While most of us may not agree with this advice,  I have a feeling this recruiter knows exactly what is going on inside companies and agencies. Surely, we can agree that companies and agencies are years behind the level of conversations that we have had, right?

I am now wondering if I have blogged, spoken, written and tweeted myself out of any potential for being hired.

I will definitely be A/B testing this advice with my resume to see which one opens up more doors. It should prove to be interesting.

What’s Reality?

I am curious. If you are a job seeker, what has been your experience? If you are an HR professional or a hiring manager seeking marketing and PR professionals, what are you looking for?

[Image source: dailybeeswax.com]

bethharte

Beth Harte

Beth Harte is a marketing & communications professional with over 16 years of experience that includes a passion for excellence and a pragmatic mind for business and results-oriented outcomes. Beth is looking for her next career opportunity, perhaps it's with your organization? Read more here: http://bit.ly/HireBethHarte Beth Harte is a nationally recognized thought leader and speaker that has led successful integrated traditional and digital marketing efforts for companies of all sizes (start-up to Fortune 500) and global reach including their integrated marketing communications and strategic planning efforts, including product development, marketing campaigns, branding, public relations, digital marketing and social media efforts. As an adjunct professor at Immaculata University and an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University’s Center for Management Development, Beth teaches courses such as Marketing in a Global Economy; Marketing Principles and Practices, Introduction to Public Relations; Writing for Public Relations; Issues in Public Relations; and Integrating Digital Marketing. Beth has a BS in Marketing from Chestnut Hill College and an MS in International Marketing from St. Joseph’s University. Being a firm believer in “walking the walk to talk the talk,” Beth shares insights on how organizations can be customer-centric here at The Harte of Marketing. You can also find Beth blogging over at the MarketingProfs’ Daily Fix blog. Finally… Beth is also a multiple co-author of Age of Conversation 3.
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Comments

Posted on April 19th 2011 at 12:10AM

You could also be hired because of your social media activities...No simple answer, it depends wich job you are interrested in...

Wish you good luck anyways! ;)

Posted on April 19th 2011 at 2:55AM

I'm going to disagree with this, as a recruiter friend of mine encourages social media use and expertise, given that businesses are now engaging prospects online. There's no way I'm not showcasing my social media skills -- if they're not valuable to an employer, then it's probably not a company I want to work with.

(And, frankly, to hear that an employer will think "you’ll request to be out of the office speaking or on Twitter all day and that you will not be helping to solve their day-to-day problems (i.e. tactical work)" sounds just plain silly to me.)

Prove me right or wrong, Beth: Looking forward to the results of your A/B testing!

Good luck on your job search! You're stellar! (I'm looking at full-time opportunities, too.)  ;-)

Posted on April 19th 2011 at 7:43AM

Interesting article. 
I do facebook and social media consulting for a German full service-HR company. We use facebook to keep in touch with job seekers and encourage them to contact us via social media. So instead of discouraging personal profiles, we try to build a connection with people and get to know them better.

Posted on April 19th 2011 at 8:09AM

Hi Beth,

Thanks for your insight and for your interesting article.

I think the recruiter you talked to may have been in the minority...(I would hope so, at least!). I am also applying for jobs (at a whole different level though, as I am going to graduate soon), and the first thing recruiters ask me once I have sent my CV is whether I have a blog or any place where I share content online. Taking care of your online reputation is very important in this industry.

I have been seeing a lot of job ads in marketing agencies for people with 3-4 or 5-8 years of experience. The problem is that there are lots of talented PR/marketing professionals who have either less experience or more experience than this. I think the key to success is to network and to be willing to relocate if the right job comes.

Good luck in your job search, I know you will find something amazing :)

Thanks,
Natalie

Posted on April 19th 2011 at 4:37PM

Good Article, Thanks for your insight Beth.

As a Unviersity student in Canada fresh out of an Undergraduate Degree in marketing I would argue that your "personal speaking, writing, blogging, and social media" should be aligned to support your personal brand. -Exactly how you alilgn Social and SEO content to support your marketing goals as a business.

If you are not leveraging these tools to create a sales funnel to filter potential employers to your resume, then you shouldn't be hired for a marketing job in the first place. I beleive the "social media experience " the recruiter spoke about is an opportunity, that when managed incorrectly, turns into a threat.

Any "social media expert" that doesn't have a twitter, facebook, and linkedIn profile that filters employers to a good wordpress blog about your value proposition will not be hired. If you can't optimize and align marketing tools with your personal brand, then why would an employer trust you to implement strategies with their business brand?

alex7white
Posted on April 19th 2011 at 7:45PM

While reading this article, I had a mini-panic attack. How can an up-to-date communication agency NOT like the social media information I include on my resume?! However, after reading these comments, I feel a lot better about keeping all of the relevant social media info. I totally agree with Sheri in that if my social media skills aren't a bonus for a company, then it's probably a not a company I want to work with."

 

Good luck to you, Beth!

Posted on April 19th 2011 at 9:10PM

I recommend getting a new recruiter.  I have been approached by recruiters via social media platforms.  Also, working as a consultant in social media has brought me positive attention from Linkedin.  As for the people that I talk to in various companies, they are most interested in my social media experience.  I would recommend keeping your facebook account private, for friends only.  As for Twitter, keep the topics focused on the personal brand that you want to be known for.  I have been a marketing professional for over 15 years, if I didn't see social media in a marketer's bag of tricks today - then that would raise a red flag.  All the best to you in your job search. 

Posted on April 20th 2011 at 3:53PM

Please reread the advice Beth received before you jump to conclusions.  The recruiter did not say close or don't have social media accounts/blogs/etc., but instead said just to keep your personal items from your resume.