Social Media and Career Success

Social media plays an increasingly important role in your life and career success.  The other day, I saw a great post on how to make effective use of social media in a job search by Ross Simmonds in the Corn on the Job blog.

Ross provides some great common sense career advice in this post.  Check out what he has to say…

First, figure out what industry you’re looking to break into and how you can do it. Are you looking to get into Politics? If so, you’re going to be interested in finding any politicians on social media and follow them on Twitter or connect with them on LinkedIn. If you’re looking to break into the corporate world of management and business, LinkedIn is a great way to search various organizations to identify key decision-makers who can help open the door to your new career.

From there track down these key people on Twitter or LinkedIn and offer an innocent and polite introduction to yourself – While you’re at it, ask them something that will allow them to share their knowledge upon you. The fact that you’re engaging with them on a deeper level than simply asking for a job will help you develop an authentic relationship. By doing this, you may have started what could be a long-term professional relationship. This is a great approach for any young person looking to find a mentor in a specific industry.

This advice has helped get many of my friends and colleagues where they are today – believe it or not. Social media gives us an opportunity to connect and most importantly increase our visibility to a group we would only meet at a white-tie event. That said, once you have identified people who are doing what you want to do or are in the businesses you want to work for don’t harass them. Keep an eye on what they are doing and focus on developing an authentic relationship with them one day (or tweet) at a time.

When someone Googles your name what is the first thing to show up? Is it a random person in a random country? Is it a humiliating image of you on Facebook? Or is it simply a list of random links with no personal relevance? None of these are the best answers. The best answer is one that ensures that when someone searches you on Google, they find exactly what you want them to find. More and more are recruiters doing background checks by searching our names online (usually on Facebook). If you’re able to control your image effectively online you will find it easier to control your fate in the job hunt.

That final piece about taking charge and managing your professional image is an important one. If you’re looking to break into a professional field, you’re going to want to present yourself on social media in a professional manner. That’s right, you need to recognize that school is over and it’s time to start building and developing a personal brand that you can be proud of. Yes, that means having a head shot on LinkedIn and not a picture of you and your friends’ on a beach or doing shots before a big night on the town!

Remember, setting up a LinkedIn account and connecting with key individuals will not guarantee you a job. To do that, you are going to have to put in the time and understand the art of the hustle. Although digital channels have changed everything, the power of meeting someone face to face is still a necessity. Thus, I encourage you to take your professional conversations from being behind the screen of a laptop to being face to face in a coffee shop or even their office. Trust me, there’s nothing better than being able to put a face to the pixels.

I like what Ross has to say here.  There are two points I’d like to emphasize.  The first is in the next to last paragraph – manage your personal image.  Pay attention to how you come across on line.  Google yourself and take a hard, critical look at what you find.  Ask yourself, “Would I hire this person?”  If the answer is no, start building a more professional image on line.  Ross’ professional headshot suggestion is a good place to start.

In the final paragraph Ross makes another great career success point – social media is great for meeting people, but they don’t substitute for face to face conversation.  Once you make a contact do everything you can to connect in person.  If meeting in person is impossible because of distance, try connecting via the telephone.  As Alex Mandossian points out, the human voice is still the best tool at your disposal for building the relationships that help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  A solid professional image goes a long way in helping you land your dream job.  Follow the career advice in Tweet 67 in my career success book Success Tweets.  “Demonstrate self-respect.  Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.”  In this post I shared some great career advice from Ross Simmonds on how to use social media to present yourself as a competent professional.  But remember, while social media is great for initiating relationships, noting takes the place of face to face communication for enhancing them.

That’s the career advice I found in Ross Simmonds’ thoughts on using social media to land a job.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you check out my career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: Have you seen my membership site, My Corporate Climb?  It’s devoted to helping people just like you create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about it by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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