Let’s face it; social media is spreading like wild fire across the populations of the world. In fact, Facebook recently claimed that is now has 1.11 billion members. Whichever way you choose to look at that figure, that’s a pretty substantial number of people.
This may then be the right time for jobseekers to view social media in a different light given its ability to reach out to a staggering number of people. For businesses too, maybe it is time to move away from print media for placing job advertisements. The mass appeal of social media is that it keeps users informed on-demand 24/7 – its real time. The ability of social media to keep people connected is the key here. For jobseekers this is such a powerful tool. Joe McKendrick, a regular contributor to the blog Smart Planet commented on one of his posts on 21st of July 2010 on the subject of social media and unemployment. Here are three ways social media can help jobseekers:
An innovative recruitment and employment tool: Thanks to social media, people have been able to market themselves better more than ever before through their own blogs, LinkedIn accounts, Facebook, Twitter. Businesses can get a more rounded view of the potential job seekers real life capabilities that are often over looked in traditional psychometric tests. Direct communication through social media outlets also has the potential to reduce a business’s recruitment advertising budget. This is a win win situation on both sides.
An entrepreneurial tool: Social media has presented people with opportunities to reach out to customers across the country and worldwide. A whole new ‘Do It Yourself Economy’ has emerged where people can set up businesses at the click of a button. One trend that has really taken off is that innovative businesses now have their own Facebook page to promote their business. We are now in an era in which entrepreneurs can connect instantly to the masses.
Outreach tool for distressed communities/regions: This can be a real kick start for communities and local economies that have declined in the recession and returning them to good health. With the aid of cheap, low cost internet access these communities can access the same information and take advantage of the same opportunities through social media platforms as individuals in thriving areas. This can be a precursor in helping to eliminate the divide that exists in societies around the world.
The power of social media to help job seekers still hasn’t been realised. However, this may be in part due to a lack of understanding of job seekers to make the most of it. There still seems to be a loyal group of job seekers out there who rely on traditional print media. Individuals must embrace social media and make it work to their advantage. The true value of social media for job seekers is to connect with people, to absorb and make sense of the information out there and to create and maximise the opportunities that arise.