Week 10 | LinkedIn – Social Media for the Career Minded

How people shared their resumes before LinkedIn

Qualman, Chapter 10 could be entitled “All the Things Leftover that I Wanted in My Book, but Could Not Find Places for in Other Chapters, and I Really Want to Be Credited with Naming the Glass House Generation.” The subject matter in Chapter 10 jumped around. From being snarky and calling flight attendants exasperated stewardesses who don’t know what to do when their box lunches run out (p. 219) to stating that young people have declining oral communication skills without presenting substantial evidence that this is true—only an anecdote about two people who met in the virtual world of Second Life. The two had issues, but the story does not say whether the couple’s issues were due to a lack of communication skills.

The last part of the chapter was more cohesive. Qualman discussed social media’s role in job hunting. I agree that the middlemen of the job recruitment process will not go away. Online job boards and fairs will continue to help connect potential employees with employers. People also will still look to professional organization job boards and the employer itself, but career social media like LinkedIn is exclusive to helping employers and job seekers connect with each other. In the end, I believe that companies make the final hiring call during an interview, but LinkedIn is a great place to get a foot in the door and make a good first impression.

LinkedIn is useful for networking. LinkedIn helped me find contact information for my company’s database and Christmas card list. In a few weeks, my company will be sending our Christmas cards out to our clients. One of our clients left one organization for another. While the old and new organizations had not yet updated their websites, the client had updated her public LinkedIn profile. I was able to figure out where she was currently employed so we can send her a Christmas card.


Posted on November 6, 2011, in Social Media, Workplace and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I am currently utilizing online job boards in my search for a new job, and while it is time effective, I feel it takes away from the traditional dropping off of an application at a possible place of employment. I also feel it is harder for employers to pick and choose out of the countless resumes they probably receive each day for one particular position. Also, technology sometimes fall though and it makes me worry if my applications ever get lost in the shuffle. After all, first impressions can speak volumes to prospective employers, and with only a few pieces of paper to draw conclusions from, the resume, cover letter, application, etc. had better carry the tone the person looking for employment would hope to portray if they were handing in their information to the employer in person!

  2. Natalie—

    Your comment, “I believe that companies make the final hiring call during an interview” made me think about something. I was always taught that a resume gets you the interview. Now it seems that things are changing to where your social media presence allows you to get your resume to the top of the stack so you can get the interview.

    I think right now the order an employer looks at people is: resume (to see who’s qualified), social media presence (to see what potential candidates are like), and then the interview. I think it’s changing to: the employer looking at social media (to see who’s qualified), resume (to compare qualified people), and then the interview.

    It seems as if social media is helping companies streamline potential employees so the people they’re interviewing are the best people available.

    • Even with LinkedIn career networking, I generally still think that a resume is what triggers an interview. A hundred job candidates are narrowed to ten, and from that ten, there may be some more narrowing before candidates are selected for interview. Interviewers will not have time to look at every candidate’s LinkedIn or Facebook or other online presence. What is online can only discourage an interview from taking place after a resume is weeded out as one of the more qualified than other applicants.

  3. I’m glad you saw weaknesses in Qualman’s chapter. There are several reasons I’d never use it as the sole text in a course, first and foremost because it’s more of a popular press publication than an academic one. Thing is, our field of TechComm blends the theory and practice, so it’s great to see something easy to read like this alongside the Spilka edited collection.

    I’m not one to join every social network, but after a renowned blogger asked me to connect on LinkedIn I created my profile. I haven’t used it as much as others, probably because I’m already in a tenure-track job, but the feature that looks most useful to our course is “Ask for a recommendation.” In fact, if you’re on LinkedIn already and on the job market, or just want to “improve your profile,” I could make those recommendations for you. A virtual letter of reference!

    • Professor, I just may have to ask you for a reference myself! The references from academia are very powerful on LinkedIn. I have one from one of the Deans’ from UW Superior and it is quite an impressive addition.

      While LinkedIn is a very powerful tool, I can see a downside which you have touched upon. If you are not looking for job, or looking to fill one, you are not as apt to be active. This makes connections sometimes quite difficult.

    • Daisy,

      What is your recommendation for keeping LinkedIn recommendations up to date or relevant for a specific potential job? Would you keep recommendations posted up two years or six years or eight years? Is it tacky to use LinkedIn recommendations offline, in a hardcopy resume for instance? And, if you were hypothetically going to hire a person in the English department at Stout, at what point in the application or interview process would you turn to LinkedIn?

  4. Great post! I agree that there will always be a middleman (or woman!) involved when it comes to the hiring process. Job fairs and networking sites like LinkedIn can make the process more efficient, however, it can never replace the formal interview process. I actually got my first job out of college by handing out my resume at a job fair. However, it didn’t end there – I had 4 interviews before I was offered the job – talk about intense! I do credit the job fair as getting my resume in the hands of the right people instead of submitting an application online and it going into the black hole where known as the internet resumes go to die.

  5. @Nate: I still think that a good share of hiring has little to do with how you put together your resume. I still think it’s “who you know,” and LinkedIn is a great way to re-establish those ties when you’re in the job market. Doing a local professional networking event is going to seem less daunting if there are going to be people there you already know.

    On a related note, I found out that somebody I know was demoted from a higher level position in part because of her Facebook presence. We have to be careful out there, folks.

    @Dr. P & Natalie: I am glad I’m not the only person who thought that Qualman was totally bonkers in the first part of that last chapter. His writing style is approachable, and even kind of fun, but he seemed like he was drunk (or maybe his editor was) when they put that together. I appreciate, Dr. P., that you’ve allowed us to use a non-scholarly source like this to grasp concepts, but that final chapter shows just how important scholarly sources are.

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