I was quoted yesterday in an article on CareerBuilder about the role of social media in job searches: Social Media on the Job Search.
Naturally, the visibility that could potentially ruin your career could also be what gives you one in the first place. David Gammel, author of “Online and On Mission: Practical Web Strategy for Breakthrough Results,” sees the value in social media’s prominence when used for good.
“If you have posted lots of content under your identity that enhances your qualifications, it will show up high in search results and benefit how you are perceived,” Gammel says. “If that content is unprofessional or otherwise at odds with the job you are pursuing, it may stop you in your tracks.”
Although social media is an asset, it’s yet to become the definitive way to land a position, he says.
“The best way to find a new job is still through a personal referral from someone who trusts you to someone who trusts them,” Gammel says. “Social media might be used for communicating, but it won’t create that trust. Good old-fashioned relationships will do that.”
I learned a long time ago that the purpose of a cover letter is to get them to read your resume. The purpose of the resume is to get the interview. The purpose of the interview is to convince them you are the best person for the job. The role of social media in all that should be, at a minimum, to do no harm to your progression through those steps. At its best, it may accelerate getting to the interview.
In short, I think that no presence on social media is neutral for most jobs, while an unprofessional presence may disqualify you. Strong professional content posted by you can certainly help but I doubt would seal the deal for anyone.