Social Networking is a Must for Managing Your Career
If you’re reading this, you’re doing the right thing. No, this is not a case of my ego runneth over. But just by reading a blog targeted at job seekers, you’re expanding your chances of getting hired.
Those of you who actively use social media as part of your job search strategies can take this as an affirmation, while those who don’t should take this as a warning: If you want to advance your career, networking – both online and offline – must be a cornerstone of your strategy.
Need some data to back that up? Look no further than a recent survey by Kelly Services, Inc., which found that, less than five years into the mainstreaming of social media, about one in every four search for work on social networking sites, mostly LinkedIn or Facebook.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that ratio reaches one in two within two years.
Here are some data nuggets from the Kelly study:
- More than one-fourth – 27% – of respondents, secured their most recent jobs through either online job boards or social media sites. Another 39% cited “word of mouth” or a direct approach from the employer, part of which – and this is just my opinion – can be attributed to social networking.
- Just under one-fourth – 24% – search for jobs on social networking sites, a strategy equally embraced by Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and the more tech-savvy Generation Y (those born after 1980).
- Facebook and LinkedIn run a close 1-2 in site preferences for job seekers, but in the Americas, LinkedIn outshines Facebook (40% to 28%).
- More than one-quarter – 26% – worry that material from their social networking pages could adversely affect their careers. Somewhat surprisingly, Generation Y is more worried about it than the Boomers.
- As a result, one-third of respondents engage in defensive social networking strategies, such as censoring or editing content on their social networking pages, to avoid career problems.
- Generation Y recognizes the importance of being active on social media to advance their careers. Thirty-four percent of Gen Y believes this, compared with only 20% of the Boomers.
What’s it all mean? Social networking is a force, and a growing one at that, in the business world. One need only recall the excitement of LinkedIn’s initial public offering last month as evidence that social networking has changed the world of career advancement and career management.
So, embrace social networking and you can improve your chance at landing a job. Ignore it and you can miss some golden opportunities to advance your career.
How has social networking helped you in advancing your career? Tell us in a comment below.