What Are the Pros and Cons to Using Social Media for Nonprofit Networking?
I recently received a note from LinkedIn that a good friend and associate, who is a CEO of a local organization, wanted me to do some nonprofit networking with an individual who is currently working in the sector. She wanted to meet to build a network for expanded nonprofit career opportunities. I always say, “yes,” to these requests, especially when close associates ask me to intervene. I do not have many hobbies but one of them must be to network on behalf of others.
I want to help those with a long tenure in the nonprofit sector to pay it forward and help others along the way. I never do this for personal gain. My satisfaction is to see those I have helped fly in their careers. The job market is competitive and any assistance to others is needed and much appreciated by them. As I am receiving more requests through social media vehicles to network, I was curious as to the pros and cons of using social media to network.
According to Morgan McKinley, LinkedIn is the most obvious choice when it comes to job seeking. It is very important that you keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Facebook should be used for personal use and not for professional use. Twitter is becoming very popular when it comes to job hunting. Their advice is to use social media when looking for a job but be careful how you use it.
Chron points out that social media and networking use has exploded in recent years, and many job hunters have active online profiles. An effective online presence can help ensure your professional credentials are available for recruiters to see.
With one in four people around the world using social networking, according to industry research firm eMarketer, these sites have the potential to hook you up with thousands of like-minded individuals and recruiters. On the other side of the scale, the size of the internet and the availability of so many different social networking platforms make it a challenge to stand out from the crowd.
The article, “Job Search: Pros and Cons of Online Social Networking,” states that your online image in social networking services is becoming as important as the customized cover letters and resumes you send to more familiar employment explorations. Get an edge by making sure you know how to use social networking technology. Benefits to social networking include being able to connect, communicate and collaborate.
Facebook and MySpace now encourage professionals in business to post online profiles. Use LinkedIn as a professional online network. Some concerns about using social networking to find a job include networking fatigue, user frustration, too many digital billboards, too narrow a niche, employers’ legal risks and recruiters’ time management woes. Although your online presence increases your visibility in the job market, it can also quash your chances of getting a job.
Career Trend encourages the job seeker to create a multidimensional representation of who you are that could be more powerful than a resume. If the information that is shared is professional, that will be a plus. If it shows social information not relevant to a job search that could be harmful. Social networking platforms can help form an initial contact with potential employers. There are liabilities and limitations of what LinkedIn and other sites can do for you. Participating in public discussions, suggesting articles for colleagues to read and sharing your expertise will help increase your online visibility.
The article titled, “Pros and Cons of Social Networking for Job Search,” indicates that your online image in any social networking service is becoming very crucial. Your image is very important. Through social media, you can easily reach a wide network of people. Through social media you can market yourself effectively. The cons of social networking are networking exhaustion, user frustration, damaging your current employment status if they find out you are looking for a job, and every company is not on social media. It is noted that JobCluster.com is a completely free toll for job seekers.
According to TopResume, social media has revolutionized today’s job search and you need to take advantage of this vehicle. Traditional sites like Monster.com and SimplyHired.com are now being supplemented with new social media sites. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can help you land your dream job. The most crucial social media job search site for any job seeker is LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn, you can build your resume, create a concise summary and highlight your personal brand. Founded in 2006 and with more than 433 million subscribers in 2016, LinkedIn as a valuable tool is here to stay. Your Facebook page can now be used to your professional advantage rather than a way to keep up with high school buddies. Keep it professional if you use this tool. Unlike LinkedIn, where formality rules, you can show more of your personality when using Twitter. With limited time and resources, consider joining several social networks to harness the power of social media. With a bit of research, regular sign-ins and a tad of ingenuity, you can make connections needed for a successful job search.
When looking for a nonprofit sector job, leave no stone unturned. Review traditional job sites, investigate social media possibilities and make personal connections using an array of strategies. It is all about relationship-building, seeking connections and building consensus. You never know where your next job may originate. Finally, talk to recruiters and local nonprofit consultants. These individuals will typically know about potential job openings long before they are made public. Happy hunting and always be professional in everything you do, say and post!
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.