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Can Moving Your Social Life Online Really Help Your Job Hunt?

Sean Weinberg | March 31, 2011

Recently, the RezScore team decided to do some research regarding some frequently asked questions. We wanted to know how mentioning social media in your job hunt can help, or even hurt your chances of landing a job. Here, my colleague Gerrit (RezScore CEO), can give you all of the info:

Has social media grown up and got a job yet?  The business pages are saturated with coverage of social media, and some colleges are teaching it to give their students an edge in the workforce.   But can moving your social life online really help your job hunt, or is it still a bunch of hype?  The RezScore team decided to test this by taking a representative sampling of demand (jobs) and supply (resumes) to identify trends in social media jobs.

We explored seven bedrocks of social media.  Of course, we examined LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.  We’d hoped to test the classic Reddit vs. Digg rivalry, but too few people mentioned either in their resume (.14% Digg, .05% Reddit).  Tumblr was similarly underrepresented (.14%) and excluded from our study.  We tested the blanket terms “Social Media” and “Blogs” to offer something of a control variable.  We also threw Microsoft and Google into the mix, even though the former hasn’t formally stepped into social media world and the latter is clueless about it.  Here’s what we found:

Here’s how you can read this chart:

  • The “Supply” column is simply the % of the workforce who list any given term in their resume.  A lower value (shaded red) means few people claim this skill, whereas a higher value (shaded green) means more people claim this skill.
  • The “Demand” column is our proprietary, dimensionless index to represent the relative state of demand for any given job.  We consider two things when calculating this number.  One is the share of job postings looking for this particular skill.  The other is an index of what recruiters are looking for, as many of them are staffing high-end positions which may never be listed publicly.  In this column a higher number (shaded green) indicates the job market has a higher demand for the skill, and a lower number (shaded red) indicates lower demand.
  • By taking pains to keep the demand index properly normalized, we can take the ratio of these two numbers to indicate the relative value of mentioning these skills in your resume.  A higher number here (shaded green) indicates greater value in listing the term in your resume, based on the supply/demand ratio.  For example, familiarity with various Microsoft products is the skill highest in demand, but because so many job seekers tout their Microsoft skills, the marginal value of listing it in your resume is negligible.  Meanwhile, demand for Twitter and Facebook is relatively low, but it’s currently in greater demand than the job market is currently supplying.

Of course, at RezScore, we not only crunch the numbers, we help you understand what they mean.  Here are the takeaways:

1. “Social Media” is a Euphemism

3% of people include Facebook in their resumes, but 4.4% say “social media.”   Most of these people really mean Facebook, but they’re afraid it’s not professional to say it.

2. It’s good to include Twitter in your resume

By a nose, our statistics software identified Twitter as the most valuable term to toss into your resume, followed closely by Facebook.

However you choose to interpret this, there’s an important takeaway: in 2011, it’s advantageous, but not necessary, to list Facebook and Twitter in your resume.

3. Businesses Undervalue LinkedIn

The actual business uses for Twitter and Facebook are still largely more theoretical than tangible.  The business value of LinkedIn, however, is manifold.  The RezScore team has learned this from its years of work experience in multiple industries.  Yet the supply/demand ratio is shockingly tilted towards the former.  Savvy businesses should recognize this as an opportunity, and look to leverage LinkedIn while everybody else is scrambling towards Twitter and Facebook.

4. Microsoft Still Dominates the Work World

40% of people throw the word “Microsoft” in their  resume, to say nothing of people who mention technologies like Excel or .NET sans the Microsoft brand name.  The behemoth from Redmond owns the office, both in lower and upper cases.  Familiarity with Microsoft products in the business world is not in demand, it’s de rigueur.  For all the talk of social media in the workplace, remember that it’s still small potatoes compared with what Microsoft has accomplished.

Lastly, it’s not broken out in the data, but the supply/demand rate swings wildly depending on your skill set.  If you’re hoping to get paid to look at Facebook all day, you’re expendable.  If you’re hoping to get paid to program against Facebook interactively using FBML, you’ll be able to field several competing job offers.

If you found this interesting and would like to start doing your own research on these sort of topics, you’re in luck.  We’re finishing up development of our premium RezScore Explorer suite, which we used to conduct this analysis.  This is a paid service, but we’re giving away free access for up to 500 beta testers.  If you’d like the inside view of the 2011 job market, sign up here.

As always, if you’d like more information about this study or anything else, please contact us.  Happy job hunting!

DISCLOSURE: None of the above mentioned companies funded or had any connection to this study. Author is long Microsoft.

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Category: Internships, Jobs

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