Social Media is all four except that users always seem to forget where they are – and who can read them – when they press <Send>. Of course, the four rooms do not have the same decor nor do they attract the same people. Problem…
My buddy Mark Babbitt, CEO of YouTern, likes to inform college students about things they’re likely not to receive from their university’s career center; one of his favorite media is blogging. Yesterday, he posted a nice piece on how recruiters are using social media to learn a few things about people whom they might have an interest in recruiting.
I often like his posts so much that I lean towards writing blog-length pieces as comments; I figured that since some people might not read these pearls of wisdom (I chuckled as I wrote that), I might as well pop them into a blog post myself and see if this helps drive traffic – and comments – to both our blogs.
Mark, as for how I use social media to “research” people, let me first offer up a simple rule I use: Does what I see or read pass the “So what?” test. I know this rule is lost upon many recruiters and hiring managers when it comes to elements outside the resume but it really should apply to all.
So when I read something “unusual” (which according to my thick-skinned standards might be “very unusual” to a Cyndy Trivella who lives in KC) I put it all into the context in which it is delivered. “Miscues” don’t bother me unless you make it a habit of miscuing over time (time might be 6+ months) – yes, this means that if I’m interested in you I read pretty much everything I can find about you. If your behavior sounds like you might have the potential to be a PITA employee then I’ll probably still reach out to you – except now I’m going to ask about your predilection to using expletives the same way I down a bag of kettle cooked potato chips.
The opposite side of the coin also raises eyebrows; if you’re overly conciliatory and won’t take a stand, I’m wondering if you ever get off the fence. Of course this position of yours will also be addressed in an interview.
Personal Branding Inconsistencies
How can a brand be inconsistent when most people project a brand they think others – employers – want to see? If you tweet out “Gawd, will this day everend!!!” yet it’s 10PM and you’ve been grinding since 8AM, I’m okay. You the see word again is “context”; lazy recruiters and hiring managers will ping a point in time and extrapolate that to a character flaw. Who’s being inconsistent now?
For me, I could care less that you’re being authentic – I care that you’re being honest. Believe me – that matters…I know.
Written Communication Skills
Spontaneity is not an excuse for not thinking; yet the limitations of 140 often require you to shorten stuff and sometimes it just reads stupid.
Like email in the bygone days, review and think before you send.
Trending Health Issues
I don’t care about your sickness if your work appears to show me that you “git er done” and frankly there are employment laws that make denying people “employment” for health issues a crime.
Frankly if companies really want to go this far to deny employment and enter the “I can’t believe you’re that stupid” contest, why not simply deny all non-menopausal women the chance to work?
Mark, I had to really think about this. The phrase “indentured servitude” then came to mind. Then the highly touted “work-life balance”. So if recruiters are looking to DQ you then I’d say there are many schizophrenic companies out there.
Since you might remember that my Mom died of Cancer and Alzheimer’s, I hope you allow me to indulge young job seekers whose parents might be going through a divorce or one of their grandparents: Life happens.
Now I might have an issue with how you share such personal stuff on social media, I also know that this is one true generational difference. Still, I’ll look at what you’re offering and balance that with what you can offer me as an employee.
Life happens and it’s your choice to share it; again, does it pass the “so what?” test.
So yes, many recruiters look at your social stream when sourcing and recruiting but here’s the one big difference between the really great recruiters and the really bad ones: The really great ones use all the available information to INCLUDE you while the crappy ones use the same information to EXCLUDE you.
So there you go…while Mark and I might have a few differing thoughts, the bottom line is that social media is a blessing and a curse. Social media in some way is like a gun: In the wrong hands, both are very, very dangerous. Tweet wisely…and be aware of which room receives your pearls of wisdom.
Steve, I love the social media / gun analogy from your closing. It goes further than the hand that holds it: It can be used to hurt others or it can be used to hurt yourself. Oh, and it can also be used as a hammer if you are clueless as to the best use of this weapon.
Really good post Steve! Social media can be a wonderful tool if used wisely by both job seekers and recruiters. I read a post yesterday by Margie Clayman that spoke to the importance of personal branding and she said something that made a lot of sense to me. She postulated this: rather than fostering a personal brand, why not create a “personable” brand. Now going back to what you write here in your post about personal branding inconsistencies, it sounds like you allude to this in your comments. I think you are both spot on.