Sunday, 4 December 2016

Social media is important for your career : An about face for NY Times

That didn’t take long.

Last week, Georgetown professor, Cal Newport, who has never had a social media account, wrote in the New York Times that professionals ought to quit social media before it damages their career.

Not in the sense that one could say something which could come back to haunt them, but that social media was mindless entertainment that served to distract you fostered by companies not long for the world.

Newport was trying to sell books and The Times, papers. A little controversery draws attention, as evidenced by the flood of blog posts and news stories referencing Newport’s piece.

But this week The Times righted the ship with some sound advice applicable to law grads and lawyers looking to advance their careers.

Patrick Gillooly (@pgillooly), director of digital communications and social media at the career site Monster, writes that you should not quit social media — and that doing so will actually damage your career.

The absence of a social media presence makes you invisible to employers and customers, per Gillooly.

Tools are available that enable employers to search all the digital bread crumbs you leave behind to see a fuller picture of who you are and how you might fit within their organization.

Most employers and customers I’ve talked to are ultimately looking for confirmation of their excitement about you, not reasons for suspicions or doubts. Not having any profile could be seen as a red flag, so why give a potential employer any reason to question your candidacy?

When we have job candidate at LexBlog, the last thing I want to look at is a resume. A word document that’s been tailored to fit our opening, the same thing every candidate is presenting. C’mon.

What’a extraordinary about a resume? What initiative does it show? How can I see how the person carries themselves around other people?

Gillooly’a right with me.

Your social media presence — and, really, your whole digital footprint — is no longer just an extension of your résumé. It’s as important as your résumé. Social media use is now a standard of the hiring process, and there’s little chance of going back.

Cultivating your social brand lets employers and customers know your passions, what you’re learning and with whom you’re networking.

What can I really learn from your law firm web site bio or your LinkedIn profile alone that distinguishes you from another lawyer or job candidate?

As Gillooly says, you need to demonstrate you’re staying on top of information, news and developments, much of which is being shared and discussed on social media.

Take it from someone who is using social media all day long to help people find careers they’ll love and disagrees with Newport.

…I don’t support abandoning social media. I suggest we embrace it, fully and more actively than ever, but also thoughtfully and deliberately. In doing so, we create important career opportunities, from simply expanding our networks and improving our knowledge, to exposing ourselves to jobs we may not have previously considered.

It’s clear that social media is here to stay, so why not make it work for you?

A career in law presents wonderful opportunities. Use social media wisely to realize them.


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