Social media has been a revelation. Want to complain to your mobile phone operator in public? Want to get a response from a previously unresponsive service provider? Social media has opened up lines of communication in ways that I'd say are as powerful as the invention of the telephone!
Can you sense there's a "but" coming?...
The "but" relates to job-seekers and the impact of social media on the job search process. It's an acknowledgement that it's possible to expend huge effort on social media without your job search seeming to progress at all.
You see on one hand social media has transformed the job search process. Where once applications would have disappeared into a black hole, candidates now have a means of following up with employers and their recruitment agents. Indeed before even applying, candidates can seek input and insights about a company that they never had before. They may be deterred - or made more determined - by what they learn. They may even find routes into a company that previously weren't open to them.
In many ways, social media has been an enabler in - and brought a more level playing field to - the hiring market.
But what it cannot do is change the fundamentals of the market. The vast majority of recruiters you engage with on social media will NOT have any vacancies for which you are the ideal candidate. Most will not have the time to give you detailed feedback as to why your application failed.
You see social media hasn't suddenly granted recruiters free hours in their working day that they didn't have before. Nor has it made the businesses they serve any less demanding in terms of the candidates they will consider a suitable fit for one of their openings. So most expressions of interest by a candidate are still likely to end in rejection - and in that sense a reality check is very much needed.
What has changed is that there are now new ways in which you as a candidate can be found by recruiters; and new ways in which you can network to potentially find openings to which you are more naturally suited as a candidate. Tracking down that rare vacancy where you are genuinely the perfect fit - or ensuring recruiters find you - is still the number one challenge facing candidates today; it's just the means of doing so that has changed.
Image Source: Casey Fleser
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