Your Career and You: "Social Media…Why Not?"

I presented a session recently at Regis College, where I teach part-time in the graduate “Organizational and Professional Communication” area, on social media’s role in career progression.

We had a good turnout comprising, interestingly enough, mostly grad students and faculty from Regis’ nursing program.

Social media is an area I’ve gotten even moreinterested in after having noticed that my grad students at Regis, as well as my undergrad Communication students at Curry College, my full-time gig where I oversee the Public Relations Concentration and teach most of the PR courses, are not as “fluent” in social media as I had expected.

This realization really hit home when I launched a “Social Media Communication” course at Curry and discovered, when I polled the class, that less than 10 percent were active on any social media platform other than Facebook.

Now I’m not advocating devoting your life to hanging out on Twitter, Facebook, and the other “usual suspects” all the time.

But I am suggesting that you acknowledge the realities of the 21st-century and accept that online communication…in addition to…not in place of…face-to-face dialogue…is here…and expected.

The gist of my Regis presentation was that human resources folks as well as hiring managers are turning more and more to social media as a means of identifying potential candidates for jobs they’re trying to fill…and to get a sense of who the person is that they’ve pinpointed (personality, interests, etc.).

How this relates to you, my loyal reader, is that, if you don’t have a presence on at least some of the major social media platforms, you may be missing out on opportunities to move up in your profession…to expand your career beginning or advancement possibilities.

My questions to you…
  • Does your Facebook page give an indication of your interests (outside of keg parties and other generally inane activities)? How about photos of interesting places you’ve visited? Or links to other websites with interesting information?
  • Are you on Twitter? If I looked at your recent Tweets, what would I see? Thoughtful comments or retweets of others’ equally thoughtful comments? Or profanity-laced diatribes directed at the football game du jour??
  • LinkedIn? This platform has taken firm hold as the de facto job and job candidate resource. Do you have a LinkedIn page and, if so, does it give a clear picture of your experience, your knowledge, and your professional capabilities?

These three represent just the tip of the iceberg, with many others also available.

The question for you is…if you’re on these social media platforms…are you maximizing their potential in helping you either find a job or move up in your profession?

And, if you’re notusing social media as a means of “getting the word out”…why not?

“The codfish lays ten thousand eggs,
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you what she’s done.
And so we scorn the codfish,
While the humble hen we prize,
Which only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise.”
Anonymous ~ “It Pays to Advertise”

About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 20 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in careers, Communication, Curry College, public relations, Regis College, social media, Undergraduate Communication. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Your Career and You: "Social Media…Why Not?"

  1. Kirk, social media is such a polarizing concept with people. In advising clients and leaders, I've found that people either love it or hate it – there doesn't seem to be much of a middle ground. With so much job hunting and professional development through these platforms today, it doesn't seem to make much sense to me for people to ignore it. By the way, love the quote at the bottom of the post.


  2. You're absolutely correct, Monica. Even in my undergraduate classes, I have students on both sides of the fence…and these are supposed to be the "digital youth"!I'm finding, not surprisingly, more skepticism among the older generations. They "know" they should…they just haven't really accepted the fact.Glad you liked the quote…it was a fun find!


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