The following is a post I contributed to Careerealism’s Professional Emancipation Project (P.E.P.).
There is a lot of discussion about how, where, and why one must use social media in today’s digital economy. It can be a bit overwhelming for some. The following myths and truths are intended to demystify some of the ways in which you can utilize social media as a job search resource.
Myth: You Must Use Social Media To Find A Job
Truth: Despite what many experts tell you, social media is not an absolute requirement for all jobs and careers. There are many fields where traditional job boards and resumes are still effective tools for finding your next job. Generally speaking, social media tends to be most effective as a job search tool in ‘corporate’ roles and careers where you have a cubicle, desk, or office.
Myth: You Must Build Your Personal Brand
Truth: The term ‘personal branding’ was introduced in 1937. It’s become a common, though somewhat maligned, term in today’s digital economy. Supporters view it as a word of empowerment, taking control of your ‘business of one’ and presenting your self in an orchestrated and deliberate way. Detractors argue the term is contrived, and positioning the individual as a commodity or ‘brand’ is wrong and lacks authenticity.
Perhaps a better term to define the concept is ‘Digital Footprint’. What does this mean? Google yourself. What you find is your digital footprint. It’s the sum of your collective digital presence – social media, blogs, interviews, etc. Putting some thought into how you present and organize these findings helps you cohesively build your digital footprint. You can use tools like Knowem to search domains and social media account for particular names you might want to use for your digital accounts. While by no means required, having similar names for Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and so on makes it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to find you.