Topic 3: Hard Working Graduate Desperately Seeking Employment

As we all near Graduation and our entrance into the ‘Real World’ draws ever closer, our Social Media habits must adapt and change to reflect this. Instead of filling our newsfeeds with photos of last Wednesday’s Social people are starting to dedicate time to creating, updating and maintaining LinkedIn profiles. On average we spend nearly 4 hours per day on Social Media, this equates to almost half a working day (Nyman, 2014). So it’s not really surprising that recruiters are turning to Social Media in order to find candidates for vacant roles within companies. The info graphic shows just how many jobs are allocated through Social Media.

Social Media & Employment Inforgraphic

If you’re yet to embrace Social Media in a professional capacity, you’re already late to the party (BBC, 2013). With an online profile you can begin to tell a story about yourself to potential employers. Effectively it’s an interactive CV. BUT it needs to be done properly. It’s not just LinkedIn and the carefully constructed profile that you’ve created on here which will be scrutinised. Every other aspect of your Online Presence will be scoured by savvy recruiters, and even the nosy public.

The case of Justine Sacco shows just how important it is to maintain a professional Online Identity across all Social Media. An inappropriate tweet en route to South Africa resulted in her being fired from her job (Ronson, 2015). The general public leapt on her and she had to leave South Africa after hotels refused to accommodate her and her personal safety couldn’t be guaranteed. Even a Buzzfeed article featuring all her questionable tweets was published.

Obviously Justine Sacco is a pretty good example of how wrong things can go on Social Media, but her case is by no means a one off. Your Online Identity has been central to you gaining the job in the first place for some time, but it is now also a key factor in determining whether you remain employed. Activities such as Blogging can really help to boost your profile; they demonstrate traits such as creativity, dedication and motivation (The Employable, 2014). But before you jump straight in, Blogging is something that needs to be done ‘properly’. Potential employers are not interested in the incoherent ramblings of your inner mind. Make it personal, but make it interesting, intellectual and truthful.

I think the ‘authentic’ aspect of building an online professional identity is important, but has its limitations. Obviously things such as educational attainment and employment record should be honest, and are things which employers can and will check. We’ve all claimed on CV’s in the past that we love nothing more than country walks and a classic novel, when really at 18 we’re more likely to be in the local club downing shots. I don’t personally think this affects the ‘authenticity’ of our professional identity providing it doesn’t interfere in our ability to do the job at hand.

Building a successful online identity takes hard work, perseverance and dedication, but beware, it only takes one ill-advised tweet to destroy it all.

507 Words.

References:

BBC, 18 October 2013, ‘Job Hunting: How to Promote Yourself Online”, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 Accessed: 5/3/2015

The Employable, 28 October 2014. ‘How Blogging can help you get a Job’. http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ Accessed: 5/3/2015

Nyman, N. 13/3/2014. ‘Using Social Media in your Job Search’. http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/ Accessed: 5/3/2014

Ronson, J. 12/2/2015. ‘How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s Life’, New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=2 Accessed: 5/3/2015

Source of Info-graphic Statistics:

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/ Accessed: 5/3/2015

http://blog.capterra.com/top-15-recruiting-statistics-2014/ Accessed: 5/3/2015

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6 thoughts on “Topic 3: Hard Working Graduate Desperately Seeking Employment

  1. Interesting article Olivia. It’s good to see you giving yourself as an example of the need for soon to be graduates like us to be more sophisticated when it comes to looking for jobs online. I like the idea of how you gave an anecdote of the downside of the social media whilst also highlighting what we are doing at the moment i.e. blogging as a boost for our online presence. You talked about how you think saying who we truly are or what we truly like doing doesn’t affects the ‘authenticity’ of our professional identity providing it doesn’t interfere in our ability to do the job at hand. But don’t you think that might be a double edge sword? As you cannot guarantee how an employer might think or approach it. Also you said building a successful online identity takes hard work, perseverance and dedication, what do you mean by that, in what way and how.

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    • Thanks for commenting on my post, I’m glad you found it interesting.

      I can see what you mean by a double edged sword in terms of identity and hobbies etc. I think that the majority of people in the position of hiring someone have a decent amount of life experience and will take any CV whether it’s digital through a medium such as LinkedIn or physical in the form of a print out with a covering letter with a pinch of salt- you’re obviously only really going to put your best attributes forward to make yourself an attractive candidate for the position- we’ve all tailored CV’s to suit the position we’re applying for in the past and I think stating ‘safe’ and ‘acceptable’ hobbies etc is just the social media equivalent to this.

      My thoughts about social media being something that you need to work on are I think, quite important. If you started a blog in 2012 and you’ve posted twice since then it doesn’t really show commitment or perseverance, likewise a Twitter feed with just one or two tweets doesn’t build much of a picture about your personality- to get the full benefit from all of these networks you need to be continually adding and engaging with them.

      I hope this answers any questions!

      Olivia

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  2. Some very interesting statistics here! I’d never had my social media usage quantified, so that comes as a surprise. I think it is very good to look at our online profile as an interactive CV. I think this is only part of the story, as social media tends to also be very fragmented unless you have an AboutMe page.

    The Justine Sacco is a good example of mismanagement of social media. I briefly made reference to it in my blog as a very extreme example of mismanagement and outright malice. Regrettably I have friends who have been in trouble with employers over tweets, so that problem is quite fresh on my radar!

    I particularly like the way you mention that CVs promote hobbies and interests, yet some people would only mention the more ‘wholesome activities’. Most employers won’t see or appreciate ‘drinking’ as a hobby, yet that is certainly the case for some! Does that represent authenticity?

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    • Andrew,

      I think the way in which your portray hobbies depends entirely on the job sector that interests you. For example, if you had completed your Diploma in Wines and Spirits and intended to work as a sommelier or for a Wine Merchant to say that you had an interest in Fine Wines and the sourcing of them would be important for potential employers. However, announcing that your favourite past time is to blow £20 on 50p shots on a Monday night wouldn’t be quite so appealing! I also probably wouldn’t announce that I could happily spend a weekend eating pizza and indulging in a Netflix Marathon. Neglecting to mention every single aspect of my personality on my CV doesn’t, in my opinion affect its authenticity, my CV simply acts as an introduction, a snapshot of who I am. In order to get a stronger idea of my personality employers rely on interview, psycometiric testing etc, and seeing how you interact with other members of the team. Providing that your CV is truthful about aspects such as experience and educational attainment, I think most employers expect a certain degree of acceptability bias in terms of interests and hobbies!

      Olivia

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  3. Pingback: Topic 3: SUMMARY – How To Create a Professional Online Presence | Living And Working On The Web

  4. Pingback: Topic 3: A reflective summary on climb online with self-branding | aaaliyu

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