Are your MBAs active on social media? I believe there is no better career management investment. So when your MBAs tell you they just don’t have the time, I suggest you give them the following three powerful reasons why social media activity should be a career development priority:
1. You will be Googled. Hiring managers, business professionals, employers, partners, colleagues all want to learn about you. They can learn a lot just by doing an online search. Perhaps your instinct is to become invisible online. However, that approach may lead some employers to discount your candidacy. Research suggests that those who do not have an online track record may as well not even exist in the eyes of some employers and business contacts. Cultivating and managing one’s digital footprint is the way business professionals learn about other business professionals.
2. Your resume provides details of your past, but a digital footprint is a portrait of you NOW. That is, your resume communicates your job history, while what you do online is a reflection of your more recently acquired skills and interests. Therefore, your digital footprint will be influential in the consideration of what value you bring to an employer, a colleague or a business associate. This is particularly important when you want to make a change in functional area or industry after completing your MBA.
3. A digital footprint enables you to elevate your professional stature among your peers and helps you demonstrate the skills employers want. This opens the door to forge strategic connections and elevates your professional stature within your community. You’ll have an opportunity to engage with people you may otherwise never have met when you leverage social media. When people have a chance to learn about you and what you offer, the number of potential career opportunities increases significantly compared to relying on other job search strategies. Building your online profile will enable you to display the types of skills employers seek most when they hire MBAs. These skills include time management, communication, and working with a team.
For these reasons, you should definitely actively manage your own digital footprint.
How can you strengthen your digital footprint? The only way is to create and consistently populate online profiles with content that you want people to find when they Google your name. You should spend time to proactively strengthen the publicly accessible portrait of who you are and the value you can bring to an employer or business partners. Outside of your education, there is no better investment in your career advancement.
To help you work with your MBAs to become active on social media, Beyond B-School is creating a three-video tutorial on how to build a rich and powerful portrait of who you are, including your skills and your interests, so you can become known, liked, and trusted. Video number one is Strengthen Your Personal Brand. Video number two is Find and Engage Your Community, and the third video in the series teaches How to Demonstrate Skills and Authority.
With a focus on proactively managing their Digital Footprint, your MBAs will dramatically improve their visibility and promise of excellence to their target audience.