In an economy gasping for breath, searching for a job can leave any individual feeling pretty winded. Finding a job has always been difficult, even more so now that so many are looking and so few are hiring. For college seniors who are graduating this month and still don’t have a job, the future can seem pretty bleak. But it doesn’t have to be.
Gen Y Graduates
20-something college grads searching for jobs have different skills to offer the professional world compared to even ten years ago before Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were born. We live in a society today that communicates in an entirely new form.
Social media and social networking have redefined many aspects of our lives, especially the way we communicate with one another. While there are plenty of individuals out there ready to ridicule this phenomenon, most employers and business leaders recognize that social media is the future.
Using social media knowledge as leverage in your job search could be the answer to landing the your first professional gig.
Market Your Social Media Skills
Job seekers should market their social media knowledge during their job search. Many young people just starting out shy away from discussing their social media experience because they’re afraid potential employers will think they spent more time on Facebook then on their textbooks. But that could be a mistake.
Heyman Associates, an executive recruiting firm, interviewed a panel of senior agency and corporate agency executives just this month for their views on social media. Jonathan Kopp, Global Director of Ketchum Digital, said at Ketchum having digital and social media fluency is an absolute requirement. When hiring, he said the agency looks at a candidate’s social graph – his or her level of exposure and reach across the social web. In the article, Kopp said he wants to bring people on board who are enthusiastic about the convergence of public relations and digital offerings.
So turn your social media smarts into a selling point. Express to potential employers that you are capable of social networking effectively, that you are comfortable communicating within the digital medium, and that you thrive in the fast pace of the online world. This is important even if you’re looking for a position outside of marketing and sales.
The New Personal Communication
Face-to-face communication continues to dwindle (sad to say). Digital communication is the new personal communication. We use email, Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging to communicate with one another. While this has drawbacks (becoming less adept at personal communication), digital communication is becoming the norm in business. Being able to express yourself, your needs, and your interests through online discourse is essential to professional success.
Social media is exploding as the new pipeline for companies to market to their customers and prospects. So why shouldn’t job seekers leverage their social media skills in marketing themselves to prospective employers? Use your social media knowledge to your advantage. Demonstrate that you are capable of thriving within this new environment. Finding a job is always going to be difficult. But during your search, be sure you are selling the skills that are marketable today.
Lauren Bailey writes regularly about education and finding the right schools. She can be reached at blauren99 @gmail.com.