Opportunity and danger for job seekers

by Ken McEwen, Ken McEwen Public Relations

We are in the midst of a huge change in the way we receive our news. Until very recently the power of mass communication was vested only in television companies, radio stations, newspapers and other publications.

But, that is no longer the case. Now, anyone with a computer, or simply a mobile phone, can broadcast a message around the world instantly.

That really hit home in January 2009 when US Airways flight 1549 ditched in the Hudson River.

Thanks to onlookers in Manhattan and on a passing ferry, the first reports were beamed around the world on Twitter. The first picture was on the web a good 15-minutes before the news channels’ helicopters reached the scene.

As 7,000 people scrambled to see that picture, the server collapsed under the strain.

Social media and the job-seeker

So, what does this have to do with you, as someone seeking a new career in the oil and gas sector?

social media network

It means that you have a powerful suite of social media opportunities at your disposal to get your name out there, in front of potential employers.

OilCareers.com recently highlighted on its Facebook page that being ‘head-hunted’ is no longer reserved only for senior management. So it pays to use every opportunity to sell yourself and your skills to potential employers.

Social media opportunities

The recent blog by Dominic Morris gave you an insight into the ways you can showcase your skills with LinkedIn.

Twitter also has potential if you can master the style of saying something apt and meaningful in just 140 characters. I’m not sure I can see the Evening Standard’s Twesume (half tweet half resume) taking off, giving the limited amount you could say.

However, if you can find some potential employers and other influential people in your sector and persuade them to follow you, then you have the opportunity to put across your strengths.

But, remember how nobody likes an overzealous sales pitch, or the conversation hog at a party who will not stop talking about how brilliant they are. Get your message across with charm and subtlety!

Watch out for the dangers

Hardly a week goes by without our news featuring stories of someone in court, or threatened with court action, as a result of what they said on Twitter, or Facebook.

Even if you don’t say anything libellous, remember your social media comments are public. Your potential future employer would not be the first to Google your name (or username) to see what comes up.

That ill-considered comment you made on Twitter, or Facebook, months ago might just come back to haunt you.

So, before you hit the send button on your next social media update, just make sure you are happy that a potential employer could well see your comment.

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