So, College Grad, Do You Really Think You’re Going to Get a Job From Social Networking? Guess Again.

I’ve set my title question up for the obvious answer.  NO!  I was
not surprised to see research supporting that conclusion.  An MSNBC
blogger, Eve Tahmincioglu, says that CareerXroads, a staffing and
recruiting company, found that less than 1% of external hires–including
positions filled by people who are not in-house–could be attributed to
social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  (Ummm. I
post on Twitter and Facebook, and have a largely ignored my site on
LinkedIn.)

Sandi Guy, parner and national director of human capital at BDO, the
major accounting firm, says they use social media merely as
supplementary to their recruiting processes. She recommends the
following: 

  • Go directly to company websites to get information about firms and
    apply for jobs.
  • Post your resume on job boards.
  • Take advantage of campus recruiting efforts.
  • Join associations and go to events.
  • Have a page on social networking sites such as LinkedIn.

But, she says, if you have to cut one out of that list, the social
media piece would be the least important.

Still, if your interest is in organizations that rely heavily on
social media such as marketing, public relations or the media, some
suggest you should have a portfolio online.  One writer says that if
you’re looking for an IT or marketing job, involvement in social media
or blogging is a definite plus.  Maybe, but no research supporting that
notion either.  I wouldn’t ignore social media sites, but I’d not get
caught up in the media hype or even the personal branding hype.  When it
comes to branding as part of your job search credential, remember that
it’s the customer who creates your brand, not you.  You may want to
check out my non-conventional blog on that subject here: Second thoughts on personal branding.

Why do you think the return from social networking is so
limited?
  Here’s my take.  First of all, nothing beats the
face-to-face network.  Admittedly, most graduate from college without
having developed a quality network and that’s your real
disadvantage.  Networking studies show that the best jobs nearly always
come from network relationships (face-to-face).  Think about it, if you
have something of importance and want something from someone, you’re not
going to get it from a letter or email.  At least the possibility of
that kind of success is seriously limited.  It’s like direct mail on
phone or web.  I hang up or delete immediately.  Pathetic return on
investment. 

As a consultant, for example, I rarely use the email for more than 3
sentences.  Social media, in my mind, is little more than interactive
email.  If something is important, I won’t even use the phone.  I always
set up a face-to-face appointment.  And if necessary, I’ll get on the
plane to see the person.  It tells the other person that he/she is very
important.  It’s also the only way we have for gaining real commitment,
feedback, insight or collaboration.  I want to be able to recognize
those non-verbals so I can get a sense of what’s really happening, and
respond intelligently to make my case.  In any setting other than
face-to-face, the other guy has nearly complete control and I can’t
really engage.  Electronic media and phone make it possible for the
other guy to filter everything out.  It’s like the very expensive public
relations and advertising materials from 25 years go.  It’s really just
a waste of money and time.  I get all my business by word of mouth and
reputation.  And that’s the best way to get a job.

Here’s the original post on MSNBC.com.  Social networking seldom gets new grads
hired.
  

 
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