This week and next, we will delve deeper into the world of social media focusing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, et al, in a professional context. Social networks are not new, but social media technologies and networked digital media have dramatically changed the way must of us communicate, both professionally and personally, in very recent years. Your readings are a smattering of texts that address 1) what social media is and where it came from, and 2) how social media technologies are being used in the workplace.
This week, we look at how social media can impede your career prospects, while next week focuses on how to utilize the social networking to your advantage. While some of the guidelines and advice may seem like common sense, it's amazing how unperceptive that we can be about our own activities online. At this time, there is some indication that employers may backing off of extensive background checks through social media of potential employees for various reasons, including that such practices may put them at risk for discrimination claims; however, research shows that a substantial number of employers do research their potential employees' social media history, at least some of the time. There are also other reasons to care about your professional identity, both online and off, regardless of employers' official policies on these matters. It's not just official background checks for party pictures that may affect your job prospects. Employers also look for "subtle clues" of whether prospective employees fit into their corporate culture, as you can see from this excerpt from a reading below (WSJ, "Beware"):
With networked gaming, online dating sites, 24/7 always-on Web-enabled phones connected to social media, camera phones that automatically upload photos to Facebook and Instagram, log your location, and tag people in your photos - you get the idea - it's easy to lose control of your image and identity online. It's not about reality; it's all about perception.
Of course, social media can also be used for good as well, which we will address in more depth next week. Maybe you will be lucky enough to find the best job in the world via social media. In the "Best Job in the World" campaign and video (right), you will see how Tourism Queensland created a viral video that generated a successful marketing campaign for relatively little money (though it may have cost more than was initially recognized, according to this analysis). Dan Greenberg's controversial "The Secret Strategies Behind Many 'Viral' Videos" is an interesting look at what makes a viral video successful (in terms of views at least). And according to Greenberg, it's certainly not about content.
Define social media
Identify the major social media technologies currently in use
Understand how social media technologies are being used in a professional context
Develop a professional online identity
Instructions for Project 1
Your choice of articles and resources that define social media by clicking here - pick one credible source. Be prepared to share/summarize for reading quiz.
Wall Street Journal's "Beware: Potential Employers Are Watching You" article (2013)
USA Today's "Will employers ask for Facebook passwords in 2014?" article (2014)
"3 Necessary Conditions for Human Cooperation" blog by some guy
Employment Screening Sources' "Social Network Searches Being Used Less for Background Checks and More for Recruiting and Sourcing" article (2014)
California State's "Job Hunting? Learn How to Manage Your Online Identity" article
Thomas Claburn's "Google Suggests Googling Yourself" article (2011)
Two credible articles of your choice that offer good insight about current employment practices with regard to social media (2013 or later). Be prepared to share/summarize for reading quiz.
Georgetown Public Policy Institute's The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm (2012)
Ian Smith's "Preserving Your Job and Reputation in an Internet Era" article (2011)
Esquire's "How Facebook Friended Gay Marriage" article
Julian Smith's "25 Things I Hate About Facebook" video (4:10M) below
Friday - Post in Facebook Group (2)
Wednesday - Take reading quiz, discuss social media and career development issues, review instructions for Project 1 - LinkedIn Profile