Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog

I Think, Therefore I Blog

How Will You Be Remembered Tomorrow?

How many of us know what our great-great-grandfather did for a living? Or what our great-great-grandmother looked like?  Much has changed since their day; now we have the ability to capture every aspect of ourselves in multitudes of ways.  Social Media has grown to be one of the most prolific–we share our videos and photos as we chat/blog/tweet/email about our life experiences.  In essence, we are creating a virtual time capsule that our future generations will be able to explore.  They will learn our views on many topics and see samples of our work. They will have a clear picture of who we are.  All of this captured in the databases of Social Media.

But not just family and friends visit this portal to our world.  With today’s ease of access, potential employers are leveraging this same information.  Job seekers: beware!

Bill Boorman, a managing director and trainer at Bill Boorman Consultancy in the United Kingdom, has graciously agreed to share his views on the pro’s and con’s of Social Media for job seekers. 

The best and the worst in social media for job seekers 

by Bill Boorman

BBThere is a lot of talk in how to make the world of social media work in the quest for new employment. It is one of the areas I’m asked about most on my travels. Before you invest lots of time jumping in to the realms of social media, you need to consider the positives and negatives and what you want to get out of it.

The best of social media

Social media provides a shop window for you to advertise yourself to the world at the touch of a button or click of a mouse. You can sit your profile on a platform like LinkedIn and recruiters will have access to your details and be able to contact you easily. This also differs from a CV database as you don’t need to worry about your boss finding your profile. There are lots of other commercial reasons for being there. You can highlight your background, experience and show references from clients and colleagues to enhance your reputation. I would also recommend that you join groups in your sector and post often, this will get you noticed.

Back up your LinkedIn profile with twitter activity. Recruiters are very easy to find here, and will circulate your message among their own followers, which usually includes a healthy collection of those in and around recruitment. (We tend to stick together for support.) If I were looking for a position, I would be regularly tweeting headlines about my key skills with a link to my Linkedin profile. You can repeat this fairly often, as twitter is instant though your tweets are forgotten after 10 minutes. Mix up your headlines and messages often, and look to sign up with recruiters who will also regularly post job openings. If you find direct recruiters, you can message them questions like “I’ve always ben interested in working at XYZ, what advice can you give me?” This will get you noticed, it has never been easier or quicker.

The worst of social media

There are no hiding places in social media. Once you’ve posted, it can always be found via Google. This can become a real problem if you combine your personal networks with your business contacts under your own name. Think about any entries you might have on Facebook or other social media platforms. Google yourself, a new employer may well do this. Do you want to be seen in this way? Now might be the time to start changing your profiles and leaving a positive footprint by intelligent blogging, leaving comment on others blogs, comments in groups and tweets that reflect you in the right light. Much as I hate the term, think of yourself as a brand and market yourself accordingly.

Last point, look at your e-mail address. Some of the ones I receive on resumes leave you on the reject pile straight away. Funny among your friends, but not professional.

On the good side of social media, I would like to emphasize Bill’s point that blogging is a great vehicle for portraying yourself as an expert in your field.  I have coached many executives that they need to speak out on topics that are relevant to their field.  Not only does this give insight to your deep knowledge, but also your writing style and ability to explain concepts to a wide audience.  A secondary benefit of LInkedIn and Twitter is you can “broadcast” to the world when you have released new posts.

On the flipside, social media can capture a version of us in our weaker moments.  As mentioned many times in this blog, there’s no downside to letting the employment world see that you have a personal life (you like camping, enjoy being a parent, champion a worldly cause). However, you must always use the rule of thumb: would mom approve?  Would she be concerned about you posting that video/lambasting that political figure/sharing a distasteful joke? There are plenty of precautions you can take like using privacy settings on Facebook.

The benefits of Social Media greatly outweigh the downside, as long as you keep the window to your world clean.

Feel feel free to add to the discussion in the comment section or you can Tweet Bill at @BillBoorman (he keeps strange hours–he might just Tweet you back straight away) or me at @jlipschultz.

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June 22, 2009 - Posted by | Guest Post, Job Search, Social Media

11 Comments »

  1. I am so glad I am not seeking a job these days. Fortunately, I eliminated my opportunities for employment a couple decades ago by being addicted to operating my own company. When they exhume my tweets, blogs, and email, long after I am gone, I will probably be quite employable. In the meantime, I would suggest being cautious if you are seeking a new job or keeping an existing one. If you wonder if people hear what you have to say, rest assured that they will always hear that one slip up!

    Comment by Mark Aaron Murnahan | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. I must ditto the first sentence of Mark’s comment. I do what I love and what I love I share so I cannot be downsized for that; and if I am; well I have to side-step the reflection. Seeking something is always outside – so inside is always safe!

    Comment by Sharon | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. I guess there is also a case of people not knowing how to use social media properly. People who are new to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. tend of overdo a bit and end up spoiling their own profiles in front of friends and at time in front of future employers. So the more you learn before jumping in, the better it is.

    By the way, if you are looking to make the most of your LinkedIn account, check out networking expert Jan Vermeiren’s new book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn”. You can find a free lite version at http://www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com/

    Comment by Nikhil Vaswani | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  4. For what it’s worth, I share Bill’s viewpoint on this 100%. It used to be celebrities, politicians and royalty that put themselves into the limelight through media coverage. Now it’s all a blur and everyone with an electronic presence is fair game. How badly you want to be discovered and for what is completely in your hands.

    Comment by Karla | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] The best and the worst in social media for job seekers be aware of what you put up on the web – it can both help and hinder your job chances. Published in: […]

    Pingback by Social Media In the Job Search « Chemical Space | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  6. Cool!

    Comment by Flash | July 6, 2009 | Reply

  7. […] How Will You Be Remembered Tomorrow? by Jeff Lipschultz on Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Just PeachyJeff’s blogJeff Revell’s Excellent Blog […]

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  8. A question for Jeff, Bill, or anyone else participating in the comments:

    What are your opinions on LinkedIn’s new “endorsements” feature? Good for the network and its constituents or a flopped idea destined for an inevitable phase out?

    Comment by Kenneth A. | December 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Good question! Personally, I’m not a big fan. Especially the way it prompts other to endorse you. It seems like a lot of horse trading. Meanwhile, the value of recommendations seems diminished as many will opt for the “short cut.” Recommendations take a little thinking and have more merit, in my book. Not sure about phase out though…

      Comment by jefflipschultz | December 11, 2012 | Reply

      • It seems we share similar opinions on the matter! The LinkedIn Recommendation, elusive as it may be to some users, feels as if it’s worth its weight in gold. You’re absolutely on point in saying that their value seems diminished when juxtaposed with the quick-fix option that is the LinkedIn Endorsement.

        We wrote a blog post about this very effect not too long ago; give it a read if you’re interested! http://blog.ziprecruiter.com/2012/12/06/linkedin-endorsements-recruiting-job-seekers/

        Comment by Kenneth A. | December 12, 2012


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