Sunday, 7 December 2014

Do social media work at the professional level?

'Cape Hatteras lighthouse'
by Cathy under a CC license
For me, that's a tough question to answer (something similar has been asked a while ago on Quora).

There are numerous services there that promise to do their networking magic and boost your profile at the personal or the professional level. But I don't know whether they actually deliver or not.

My personal experience is rather limited on that front. Yes, I have had accounts at various services, including Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. However I haven't really met any new contacts via those, not to mention come across any meaningful professional leads. To be fair, I haven't put any specific effort towards those objectives, apart from the obvious, i.e., setting-up a reasonable profile and keeping - for some time at least - a moderate-to-low level of activity.

There are some, however, that claim that social networking can do miracles. Others, advise caution and careful planning before committing time (and possibly money) into making a good social media profile, while some others identify social media as a means to find resources and learn and, possibly, as a path that - if used carefully - could improve career chances a bit.

I admit that, in theory, one's "right" presence in social media should be a additional plus in one's career efforts. I am also convinced that potential employers (including headhunters?) or, even, potential collaborators seek for information on their potential employees or partners in the social media universe, as well. Thus, a decent presence there is not a bad idea and may be of help to future career steps (but a bad presence is a terrible idea, much worse than no presence at all). However, I really wonder how many people amongst one's social media connections can actually provide one with a job offer or, at least, a job interview. The answer to the latter may be "very few" or even "none". But anything other than that would just make things too easy, wouldn't it? After all, if just a handful of one's social media contacts could offer some sound career advice that would be a welcome thing, too.

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