How Social Media Has Reshaped Job Hunting

I have recently come to the understanding that normal people like me who think of “social media” or the coined phrase itself think of it in the context of connecting with friends on a personal level. It has only been recently that even my own perspective on “social Media” has changed drastically. I have been a Facebook-er since the site itself was unleashed on unsuspecting college students over a decade ago. My freshmen year of college (2002-2003) I became aware of Facebook. At the time only college students could access the site if they had a legitimate college email.

My friends and I all got swiped away with the new social media site. We used Facebook the way Zuckerberg originally intended it to be used; as a way to connect with groups on campus and to interact socially with our fellow classmates. All during my college years and since I graduated I have never once considered that this influential social media site would be a tool that I would use to get a job.

After having spent only one day googling “social media and job hunting” and reading over 25 articles about social media and job hunting, I have come to the realization that this is exactly how the professional world works-now that it has embraced social media. Technology and communication have taken such large leaps and bounds in recent years that to truly navigate the professional world in which we find ourselves in these days is to do so through social media.

Any one of us can write-up a decent resume through a template online and fill out an application. We all sit there twiddling our thumbs hoping the HR Recruiter will pass our resume through their first line of defense. This leads us to hope that our resume alone will land us a seat in front of the hiring manager. We think the first round is the easiest and now we have to tackle the big part; convincing the hiring manager to pick us among the other 100 or so applicants and interviews they have lined up to fill just one position. Of course we all know this is the most important part. Here is the catch though, what if we never make it in front of the hiring manager?

What if after the HR people have narrowed down their huge applicant list to a 100 potential resumes but the hiring manager bumps into someone they know in their professional network? Someone whom they are familiar with via their own social media network; someone who puts their own experience on exhibit and demonstrates to everyone they know on a daily or even hourly basis what kind of experience they have. Out the window goes your opportunity to sit down and sell yourself to the hiring manager because the better person, the one they are all talking about it, got it because they told everyone they should have it via social media.

It is because of this said same scenario that social media has transformed job hunting. We are no longer restrained by our location or limited by the amount of people who may live in our small town or large city. We can reach out to everyone globally through our own social media network. Well if we all have the same access to it than we all should be doing it.

Most of the articles I read about social media in job hunting were not just tips on how to do your job search via social media but also about how companies actually rely on social media to locate worthy applicants. Companies nowadays do not want a constant high turn around; they do not want to rely on an unknown pool of applicants from a single job posting. Companies want to find people they can invest in and be proud of. Companies want professionals who are demonstrating their skills publicly and telling the professional public that they are dynamic, experienced specialists. They are looking for said same professionals who share their knowledge and experience with others in their particular industry. We all want to invest in the people we are hiring and make sure that when we finally make an offer it is a long-term investment. Companies want someone to be proud of and to be able to brag about (yet again) via social media.

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