Mithila Mehta explores the role of Social media in the corporate world. In today's highly wired world, the importance of social media networks is immense. This trend reflects in the corporate world as well, where social media is increasingly proving to be a game changer. "Social media is all about connections and people. It has completely altered the nature of interactions in
the corporate world. You can initiate a conversation with say the head of a company - people who were previously inaccessible. Social media has upturned the entire idea of hierarchies in the corporate world," says Amit Puri, product manager at a Bangalore-based multinational.
Social media provides numerous opportunities for job shifts. "I am at my current job only because of social media. I was previously working at another media house, and my current boss stumbled across my profile and sent me a message. The rest, as they say, is history!" smiles Vidhi Krishna, copy editor at an English daily.
Social media websites also enable professionals looking for jobs connect with potential recruiters. "When I was looking to switch jobs, I spent a lot of time on social networks, especially LinkedIn. I connected with HR staff, inquiring about current job opportunities and requirements. Social media makes it immensely easy to connect with the right people in an instant," explains Mumbai-based Aatika Bose, account planner at an advertising agency. Specialised applications on social media allow employees to give feedback about the organisation they work at. Job aspirants can read these reviews to better understand the company, its culture and what the potential pros and cons of working there are.
Social media allows you to direct documents such as your covering letter, CV and profile to a specific person, rather than sending it to the organisation in general and then praying that it reaches the hands of the relevant person. Explains Bose, "Advancements in social media mean you can even attach your covering letter and CV on messages. This way, you can be assured that your CV is reaching the right person. The chances that a physical copy of your CV will reach the correct person and land you a job are slim. The page could well languish unnoticed on someone's desk or be filed away and forgotten. When you send an email, it could land up in junk mail. With a social media platform, both these eventualities are avoided."
Connect and converse
Even if you aren't looking to shift jobs, social media can be a great tool purely for networking. "When I was in my second year of MBA, I used social networking sites to reach out to various alumni of my institute working in advertising. These were all highly respected professionals who are usually unapproachable. Interestingly, they all wrote back to me. They guide me regarding career moves as well as give me insights and information about the industry," says Richa Singh, who now works in the retail sector.
Social networks can also help you keep in touch with former bosses, peers and colleagues. Given the amount of job-hopping and movement these days - both across organisations, industries and geographies - it is extremely easy to lose contact with individuals. Official email addresses and phone numbers are constantly changing. Social media is one avenue which remains constant. "Thanks to social websites, I can actively track the movements of my peers. I know exactly who is working in which organisation in which profile. When I need inputs from a digital agency, I know exactly who to connect with," explains Puri.
Corporates are increasingly conducting employee background checks on various social media sites as part of their pre-hiring due diligence. It is hence extremely important to ensure that your social network profile portrays you as you would want a potential recruiter to see you.
Additionally, it is also important to keep in mind basic etiquette when interacting with corporates and professions on social media. "Your language should be professional and formal. Refrain the temptation of being casual simply because it is a social networking site. Don't be overbearing or hound anyone with repeated mails. Come across as polite and courteous in all your communication," ends Singh.
The social media is a powerful tool in the hands of any professional. Harness its potential to the fullest!
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