If You’re Not on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn Do You Exist?

We are a divided nation, and I’m not referring to the upcoming presidential election or whether you’re a fan of Downton Abbey.  Rather, we are divided on the relevancy of our online persona.  If you are a hiring manager and a job candidate is nicely set up with a Linkedin account with more than one connection, a Facebook page and a Twitter account with some recent and semi-Kosher tweets, how do you view that candidate? Do you think, “pheew, glad she’s normal”? And if she’s on Pinterest, Google+ and has a Klout score above 30 — well, she’s hired! If  a candidate is nowhere to be found online, do you wonder “is he weird, how can he not have a Linkedin account, at least”?

If you’re out there looking for a job, is it now as important to be active on social media as it is to have a college degree? The answer, of course, depends on your profession. Let’s assume you work in a field where most of your colleagues are on social media daily. Not only are you expected to engage online at some level, but you’d probably hold it against a candidate if she’s not part of the social media community in some way. This is unfortunate, but it is the way things are progressing or regressing, depending on your viewpoint.

And what about you? What if you hate social media,  don’t want to have anything to do with it? You might still have a Twitter account, but your profile photo is still of that default egg; your Facebook account is sleeping, and you have five dubious connections on LinkedIn.  Well….I would submit that you are stifling your career prospects (in terms of visibility and ability to network), impairing your personal brand and in some cases your employer’s brand.  That said, we do things every day that can have a positive or negative impact on our professional life and our company’s success, and it has nothing at all to do with social media.  Nothing at all.  So while tweeting, liking, pinning and posting are healthy daytime exercises, the heavy lifting is really in the actual job you were hired to do.

What’s your viewpoint on this?

— Diane Schwartz

On Twitter: dianeschwartz





  • Carolynne Born

    I’d really like to know the significance of social media. Why do I need to be on anything? Yes, I am looking for contract and permanent PR jobs, but realistically, who is looking for me on LinkedIn and elsewhere? Why are my actual professional credentials good enough?

  • http://www.itfactorymedia.com Kellie

    I appreciate your insights about social media. I know it’s no excuse, but I struggle with the burden of doing my own social media. I did it for a client for circa 18 months, but still managed to neglect my own. I use Facebook for personal reasons more than professional. I often feel so overworked from doing the work that I don’t care to also crow about it on social media — even though I know that I “should.” And when I have a break from working so much, I honestly prefer to regenerate creatively by writing, recording, performing music for my own pleasure and blowing off the computer distractions. I seriously need a break from the chronic interactions. And admit it — social media is QUITE a distraction unless you time yourself. I’m ever seeking balance.

  • Diane Schwartz

    Thanks for your feedback. It is quite the balancing act.

  • Jennifer

    I find that social media enriches my life. I definitely have to temper my interactions, but I honestly can no longer imagine life without Facebook. I’m fascinated by social media’s ability to influence business, news, families, and friends. That said, I’ll still take a hike in the mountains with my family over tweeting any day (although the phone just might come in handy for that beauiful photo I want to show my mother).

  • http://imarque1.wordpress.com/ Isabelle

    As an answer to your question “who is looking for me on LinkedIn and elsewhere?” the response is : almost every employer!
    I’ve read on NetOffensive.com – sorry for the french site (http://www.net-offensive.com/blog/le-recrutement-et-les-reseaux-sociaux.html)- that 69% of employers have dismissed an application after what they have found on social networks.
    Unfortunatly, this is today’s reality…

  • http://www.lynchburg.edu Deborah Blanchard

    I don’t understand why there is so much reluctance for professionals to use social media to both promote themselves and their work and to connect with others. I’ve personally used LinkedIn and Facebook when researching job candidates, and I’ve met dozens of people who have become valuable resources through both my personal Twitter account (@Sweetea888) and our @lynchburg college account. In a majority of industries, and for hiring, these ways of connecting are part of the landscape. For goodness sake, get on LinkedIn at the very least.

  • Gordon

    It’s most unfortunate that any employer would use social media as a tool for evaluating candidates since one’s presence or absence on Facebook, LinkedIn, et al. will tell an employer absolutely nothing about a candidate’s aptitude or work habits – two things that I really must get a good feel for before I make an offer to a prospect. I couldn’t care less about whether or not they’re involved in social media unless that involvement goes to the qualifications for the job.

    The breathlessness with which social media presence is promoted as a good tool for job seekers is nonsense. A candidate who has a limited or non-existent SM presence is showing me that he or she has some sense of discretion and privacy and cautiousness – all of which are elements of a good team player and which also, these days, show me a streak of independence and even creativity for refusing to follow the lemmings.

  • not a money grabbing jew

    bollox to social media. it’s just full of pricks anyway. why would anybody be interested in my insane ramblings about having a shit and eating breakfast.
    facebook is full of cunts run by a jew cunt.