Tag Archives: job search

To Social or Not to Social? That is the Question


A millennial computer scientist writing in in The New York Times advises more people to quit social media before it hurts their careers. Cal Newport offers several reasons for his opinion.

First, he points out that keeping social media accounts current and relevant can take an inordinate amount of time, whether that means reposting a viral article or coming up with a clever new hashtag. Becoming part of this never-ending cycle of posting and reposting takes time away from the real way to grow a career—by achieving excellence, Newport says.

Next he shoots down the argument that social media networks are a necessary part of today’s workplace because they can give rise to new opportunities. Newport argues that becoming an expert at what you do leads to opportunities, not networking relentlessly.

Finally, Newport points to the addictive nature of social media as the root of distraction, which takes away from producing good work.

Not long after Newport’s column ran, the director of digital communications and social media at the job site Monster wrote a response advocating social media as a necessary tool for careers. Patrick Gillooly notes that the platforms themselves have created millions of jobs in the emerging field of social media management. Moreover, he says that employers want to see job applicants’ social media sites, and therefore they can be an excellent way to extend an individual’s résumé. What’s more important, Gillooly adds, is that being invisible on social media could raise a red flag to a future employer.

Gillooly says social platforms provide a great way to learn about a field. Ignoring what’s being said on social media is to be excluded from relevant discussions. However, he advises using social platforms “thoughtfully and deliberately.”


  1. What can you do now to take Gillooly’s advice and build a meaningful social media presence that will help advance your career?
  1. How can you heed Newport’s advice and create work product that is your best advertisement of your skills and readiness for the workplace?
  1. In which ways can you prevent social media from becoming a “black hole” for your time?


Adiós to Pounding the Pavement…Millennials are Job Hoppers…Freelance Numbers Climbing

No More Pavement Pounding

Forget pounding the pavement and the dark suit. Millennials looking for work will increasingly turn to a new batch of virtual recruiting methods. Students at Carnegie Mellon can participate in a Digital Career Fair in which companies post open positions and are matched with students meeting the positions’ criteria. If the student seems like a good fit, the company makes contact. This way, firms not attending a physical career fair see students’ résumés they would otherwise miss.

Another new digital job recruiting tool is being used at California Polytechnic State University. It works much like Netflix’s recommended viewing algorithm by suggesting potential employers to students based on the student’s interests and experience.

shutterstock_80519269Millennials Job Hop

As a group, millennials care more about pursuing their passions than high salaries. They realize that job security is not a given and have no desire for a long-term career with one employer. Consequently, if they don’t feel a company’s culture meshes with their values or they don’t find meaning in their work, they leave. Payscale.com’s annual Generations at Work survey reported that on average, millennials stay in one job for two years. Gen X workers stay an average of five years, and baby boomers hang on an average of seven years.

Freelance Numbers Climbing

Between online marketplaces such as Task Rabbit and employers cutting payrolls, the number of people working freelance has grown from 31 percent in 2006 to 34 percent in 2014. According to a survey by the Freelancers Union, fully one-third of the population is working freelance. Over 14 million moonlight after hours to help make ends meet; more than 21 million do temporary work on a per-project basis.

Hidden Jobs, Overshare, Retiring from Facebook

Finding “Hidden” Jobs

shutterstock_141627571Unadvertised or “hidden” jobs may make up as much as 80-85% of unfilled openings, according to Fred Coon, a licensed employment agent. To uncover hidden jobs, Coon offers some tips.

Join industry groups. Associations, chambers of commerce, or Toastmasters are great ways to make contacts before you need them.

Talk to insiders. Insights from those already in the industry can help you learn how to best chart your career path.

Search company websites. Many companies only post openings on their corporate websites.

Is it Share or Overshare?

Sharing personal stories at work is okay—as long as they are relevant to work and are not meant to draw attention to the sharer. Oversharers—those who inappropriately give information about sensitive or offensive topics—do so for several reasons. Some tell stories simply to attract notice. Others may say more than we ever wanted to know because they are anxious and blurt before thinking.

Experts suggest that certain topics remain out of the workplace entirely. These include salary, sex, drug and alcohol use, and negative sentiments about the boss, coworkers, or the company.

Early Retirement from Facebook?

Going dark on a Facebook account is a good way to clean up a messy social media presence.
All it takes is deactivating the account. (It’s much more difficult to delete a Facebook account.) To take yourself offline, click the deactivate button under the settings/security function. The profile disappears and the user is untagged from photos and other people’s posts. It’s just as easy to reactivate the account at a later time.