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