This weekend, I was invited by my uncle to his place. On a gorgeous Sunday morning, when I reached his place, I found him playing on his laptop. I checked out what he was doing and, not surprisingly, he had four tabs open in his Firefox browser – one each for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
On the breakfast table, we started talking about gaming, politics, religion, science, and eventually employment. My uncle took me back to the early 70s, the time when he was young and struggling to find a job. He explained to me how the world was unconnected at that time. Telegraph was the only ‘fast’ medium for communication at the time (we’re talking India here). Job-related information was rare. Only a few newspapers and a few highly educated people were up-to-date on information and with the slowly changing social scene.
After more talking, I wondered how the man who had lived through several decades and witnessed many changes, especially how the world started connecting and how the information became easily available, viewed the Internet after it turned a gigantic world into a 14” (or even smaller) color screen.
The curious man was highly fascinated by social media because it gave him a chance to further narrow down the world. He was well-versed in the use of Facebook to connect and share with the people in his life and to make new friends with similar interests. However, he also wanted to explore more: “how could social media be used for employment?”
I, being a social media researcher, then decided to explore this possibility of social media with the old fella (though young in mind due to his curiosity). We started talking about LinkedIn, the biggest professional networking site in the world. We found it to be an effective platform in building a community of similar skills and job interests. New graduates can connect to professionals, join groups, and have a fairly good chance to attract HR managers by uploading an attractive CV. But, why wait for someone to come and look for your CV? The “Jobs” feature of LinkedIn appeals to not only fresh graduates but also the experienced folks. The feature can be used not only to explore available opportunities in the market but also to provide a useful medium to post job openings. Should HR managers have any concerns, there is “Hiring Solutions’ in the same drop-down menu to ease their lives.
Looking for a specific job in your dream company? Search by the company name in the search box.
Go to the Careers page.
In looking at the options, you find one that matches your profile and then you decide to apply for the job. Is it really that simple??
If you’re in dire need of a job, go for “Job Seeker Premium” account service, which doubles your chances of getting interviews and places your resume at the top of the heap, displaying it first to HR staff. Now, it totally depends on your profile if you land an interview. That’s why the LinkedIn team keeps informing you about your profile completeness.
The addition of fields like “Profile Overview,” “Specialties,” “Work experience, ” etc., may draw more attention to you. A potentially effective way to get noticed is to have several recommendations. Want job alerts in your mail? LinkedIn does that, too, offering users flexibility to choose among the most relevant options. LinkedIn can narrow down the results for you, if you provide enough profile information that helps the site with lexicon/keyword matching, thus enhancing relevance.
“Sharing a job update” quickly notifies all your connections. The message spreads quickly among your connections, with individuals being able to directly connect to the original sender. If the user wants to publish the information, he can check the Twitter symbol nearby the “Share” button. You never know when the micro-blogging site may help you in landing a job. Indeed, the possibilities are endless.
Facebook, too, is ready to expand its professional scope. The “Subscriber” feature, just like Twitter, allows you to follow experts, celebrities, and the persons you want to hear from. A job seeker, thus, can connect with HR managers, and if there is any news of a job, he could be notified via the Facebook Homepage. In addition, HR can use the social media giant to post various job-related information to make it accessible to a broader audience. Keep in mind that people’s mindsets are different for Facebook and LinkedIn. When a person logs into his or her Facebook account, s/he is more interested in getting updates of her/his loved ones and chatting with them than searching for a career-related solution. The biggest challenge facing Facebook is changing this user mindset. “Professional Feature” is totally dedicated to providing career-related solutions. “BranchOut” sensed this and started providing Facebook users a medium to build their own career communities.
Here, users absolutely have an added advantage to include everyone they know on Facebook. They have a good chance of becoming a member of a larger community. But, the question is, “Can a mere Facebook application compete against a dedicated site?” The current answer is a big “NO”. Yes, the future is dynamic and unpredictable, but in analyzing current statistics, one can easily anticipate a big NO again. At the end of the day, all users benefit – both socially and professionally.
It was at this time when my uncle’s wife also joined us at the table. We thought it best to end the conversation and shift the focus to family matters. However, my uncle and I decided to explore the potential of social media over the coming weekend since there was still some unfinished “business.”