Vault's Careers Blog

Career advice and job search strategies for the modern careerist

Is Social Media the Key to Your Career Success?

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Twitter conference

AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Has social media entered your working life yet? If it hasn’t already, the signs are that it will soon. Consider the following pieces of evidence:

  • This week, it was revealed that Facebook surpassed Yahoo to become the second most visited website in the country. In January this year it drew some 133.62 million unique visitors, while Yahoo came in just behind with 132 million. That left Facebook second only to Google in terms of internet popularity. Consider the possibilities for your career—or your business—that exist in a place where more than 130 million people regularly congregate to share information and ideas. In the U.S. alone: worldwide, Facebook now has more than 400 million users (including a certain career information website). So if you’re not on it, the only question that remains is: why not? Holding out at this point is akin to being the last guy in the office in the 90s to switch from a typewriter for doing paperwork, all the while maintaining that this PC thing was just a fad. Even if you’re not planning on using Facebook for networking yourself, having a passing acquaintance with something a third of the country is doing can hardly be a bad thing.
  • The new director of BBC Global News has mandated that journalists working under him either “get with the social media program or get out.” Socialmediatoday reports that he told the Guardian, ” This isn’t just a kind of fad… I’m afraid you’re not doing your job if you can’t do those things. It’s not discretionary.” More specifically, the Guardian report says that:

    “Aggregating and curating content with attribution should become part of a BBC journalist’s assignment; and BBC’s journalists have to integrate and listen to feedback for a better understanding of how the audience is relating to the BBC brand.

    Horrocks, formerly head of the BBC’s multimedia newsroom, finds clear words for it: ‘If you don’t like it, if you think that level of change or that different way of working isn’t right for me, then go and do something else, because it’s going to happen. You’re not going to be able to stop it .'” (Emphasis added).

    Anyone think that the section emphasized above will only apply to the media field? Me neither.

  • Where would a discussion of social media be without Twitter? Billboard reports that its traffic increased some 8 percent from December to January. The 73.5 million unique visitors it drew in January means the company “can boast year-over-year growth of more than 1,000%, as it had only 6 million unique visitors in January of last year.”Look around you. Do you see anything expanding of late, let alone at a rate of more than 1,000 percent in a single year? Twitter—and the rest of the major social networking tools—aren’t going anywhere. Knowing how to use them can only make you a more attractive job candidate, regardless of the position you’re trying to land.

If you’re not sure where to start with them, sign up for an account with both of the tools listed here: they’re free, after all, and require you to invest nothing more than a little bit of your own time. What could be better than that?

And, if you really want to get ahead, try signing up to follow Pink Slipped on Twitter. Not only do we include links to every post we create, we also use it to aggregate interesting and useful content from all over the internet—even if they don’t start out or end up on here.

I don’t want to end this by telling you that resistance is futile—that’s not the point. Think of it more as having nothing to lose but your inhibitions. Now go on and get connected!

For more career advice and information, check out Vault’s Pink Slipped blog.

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Written by Phil Stott

February 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm

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