Social Media

Social Media Means You Can’t Hide

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One of the great powers of social media is the difficulty to hide your true character. Even people who try to put on a dishonest face don’t last very long. The whole system is geared towards ruining liars.

That is a good thing.

On one hand, you are more likely to trust someone when you can verify who they are from three or more social media profiles, blog entries, photos and Google results. You trust them even more when you find them on LinkedIn.

On the other hand, people will NEVER trust you when they find a different message, value statement and personality between three or more social media profiles, blog entries, photos and Google Results – and trust you even less when that message is reflected wrongly on your LinkedIn profile.

So, if you are hiding something, waiting for the third conversation to mention the “real” reason for you’re reaching out, you are THAT guy. You don’t want to be THAT guy.

Anyone can smell a fish, especially on social media. Be upfront about your intentions with every interaction.

Here is an example. Someone posted this on their LinkedIn profile:

“I feel I am lost in my career at this point, and would appreciate any and all guidance on what direction I should take.”

I have trouble being that forthright, as I’m sure many of you would be. However, this person demonstrated integrity at such a level recruiters have simply gravitated to her. Have even offered to groom her for their open jobs.

I hold myself to this standard daily. I hold my clients to this standard.

One client of mine posted his frustration at not knowing where his career was taking him. In that next week, he received no less than 17 e-mails from recruiters and fellow job seekers.

In contrast, I was speaking with a job seeker the other day who had been unemployed for over a year. So, I asked him what his strategy was. He said he reaches out to old friends and tells them he is unemployed on the third conversation.

“So, how’s that working out for you?” was my only stunned reply!

Don’t be afraid to tell your truth, whatever that may be, in a professional, non-whiny way. You may be surprised at the results.


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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Joshua Waldman

Author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, Joshua is recognized as the authority for helping people find work using social media. His blog, Careerenlightenment.com, won the 2013 About.com Reader's Choice award for best career blog for original content.

2 comments

  1. Joshua Waldman, nice article. I am extensively using LinkedIn for the last couple of years. Somehow in my view people need to be wise in using social media primarily like; LinkedIn and Facebook. In mature cultures where enlightenment dawned centuries ago and now ripe and fully matured, people tend to get maximum benefit out of provided opportunities on LinkedIn.

    However have seen immaturity in most of the south-east Asian professionals – but with few exceptions if someone is able to use wisely have used it well. Smart approach, honesty, desire to establish sustainable and fair relations and goodwill are all connecting beads for greater reach, participation and influencing.

  2. Thanks for a good article Joshua. Being Transparent on social media also means you have to also be sincere and honest.

    The example of the job seeker declaring being lost in his career and asking for ideas and guidance was likely acceptable if his other posts were not “whining”

    The people who “beg” for help or constantly declare unhappiness at their current job will be ignored by recruiters and hiring managers, despite how truthful they think they are being.

    Principle # 3 in the book “Success using Social Media”; “Never do, say or engage on Social Media in any way you don’t want to be seen, heard or perceived in life,” is important to remember.

    Thanks for sharing Joshua.

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