Career Advice

Social Media: Are You Everywhere But Nowhere?

Do you want to build a reputation as a social networking ‘celebrity,’ or do you desire a character-rich repute as one who provides valuable, thoughtful insights, products and/or services?

I believe that social networking sites play a vital role in your career, and that to remain forward-looking and modern appearing in your approach, you MUST be visible on the media channels. This applies to the new college grad all the way to the most senior executive.  However, it is important to remain clear and focused, on how to integrate social media into your business initiatives.

The first step is choosing 1-2 (maybe 3) sites that you have an affinity with and begin following folks that may benefit your career and/or to whom you may offer value; next, start listening, then sharing. 

Second, build a pithy, value-laden professional profile that weaves in your tangible achievements (including the how and why you do what you do) plus a dash of personality.

The top sites I recommend include:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Take a peek at my Google+ profile to get a feel for how you can focus in on your business value proposition while also knitting in a few colorful threads of personality.  A snippet of my G+ professional value is here:

An intuitive researcher, I unearth clients’ compelling story details and apply an inventive approach to career positioning documents (resumes, cover letters, biographies, leadership addenda) and social media profiles (Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and more). As well, I develop blog posts for careerists desiring to boost their global visibility and value.

And a glimpse into my personal life is here. Notice how I link my personal information with my value proposition to clients.

Having spent my first several decades in the Greater Kansas City (Missouri) area, I currently reside, along with my husband and business partner, (Capt.) Rob, and my miniature pinscher, Louie, on the banks of Lake Texoma (near Sherman/Denison, Texas and about 75 miles north of Dallas, Texas). Avid sailors, we can be found hoisting the sails of our 34-foot Columbia (Sea’s the Day) when we’re not busy writing and career advising.

Fancying myself The Texas Executive Resume Writer, my client reach is global, and I welcome collaborations via Skype, landline and email.

While I steadfastly advocate social media for all careerists, I offer words of caution. Beware the temptation of total online immersion. The seduction of social media, as you witness your connections expanding and your Klout score soaring may ultimately diminish your focus and create a free-fall of your work product, and thus, your reputation.

In my own life and career, social media disrupted all that I had known after jumping into the Twitter waters three year ago. An intuitive platform (especially for a word wrangler like me), I found the 140-character sounding board a real writing coup and quickly engaged with a plethora of like-minded careerists while also attracting clients to my virtual door. 

However, my own due diligence and instincts in the careers arena recently compelled me to tweak and adjust my strategies to eliminate social clutter and refine my target. A concern for me is the temptation for all of us to get swept into the flurry of social opportunities and dilute our concentration. Once we provided thoughtful value – to our employers, our clients and our families; now, we are racing to the project finish line so we can check our social status updates and ensure we are early-news-adopters and thinkers and the first to ‘see and be seen.’
But, do you want a reputation for being everywhere, but really nowhere? (Hat tip to Miriam Salpeter for this inspired phrase.) Do you want to replace your hard-earned reputation as someone who is reliably on-time, on-schedule, responsive and considerate with a reputation as someone who is scattered, unresponsive, inconsiderate and late with projects, all because you were magnetized by your thousands of new Twitter and Facebook friends?
This is the bane of what social media can do. My advice to you; manage your time and your energy investment in social media. Ferret the value; offer the value; then get back to work!