Ivan Melendez graduated from the University of Southampton in 2012 where he studied an MSc in Knowledge and Information Systems Management. Ivan is contributing his story to the Web Science MOOC of how social media skills helped him to get his dream job. He is also helping out as a Mentor on the Digital Marketing MOOC.
During my student life I had the honour of being part of a group of students called Digital Champions, (or “Digichamps”) whose role was to increase the awareness of Digital Literacies in the university amongst students, staff, lecturers and researchers.
Being part of that project helped me understand the advantages of including Digital Literacies as part of your daily activities as a student or researcher regardless of your academic background. It also helped me get the job of my dreams.
Before graduating I realised how paper CVs were becoming a thing of the past. From all the companies I applied to, less than 10% asked for a PDF or paper version of it, regardless of the role in question. Furthermore, I went only once to a face to face interview, the rest were done via Skype or Google Hangouts with recruiters in different parts of the world.
Web technologies in general were changing the job hunting dynamics. I had not had the need to look for a job for 6 years, therefore, it was a new world for me. My experience as a Digital Champion helped me enormously as I had access to the latest research on social media recruitment, digital literacies and personal branding.
Today I am a Solution Delivery Manager at Hootsuite in charge of getting our enterprise clients up and running providing them with customised training, setup and analytics services. By the way, I got my job thanks to LinkedIn.
Hootsuite is a social relationship platform that helps more than 10 million users around the world to manage their social media assets. In Hootsuite our mission is to “empower customers to transform messages into meaningful relationships”. Our platform helps companies and individuals build strong bridges with their followers or potential clients by streamlining the management of their social media channels in a collaborative environment.
It is really interesting how Social Media has evolved from a marketing or PR channel to what is described as a Social Organization, where employees across different departments have been granted access to social media channels following a unified strategy.
Something quite particular about our company is how the professional background of my colleagues is quite diverse. From teaching English in South Korea, to supervising the main sales channels of a huge international corporation, all of us have had experience using social media in the past and we all feel familiar and comfortable using it. Regardless of our previous roles, we were all in touch with new technologies that were not actually required to perform our duties.
In comparison, what I have seen with some of our clients is that the learning curve of their employees is quite steep as knowing about Social Media was not part of the job description when they joined the organization. Therefore, considerable time and resources are spent on both sides trying to take advantage of these communication channels.
Based on more than two hundred organisations that I have worked with, it is clear that Digital Literacies are now considered an advantageous skill to have regardless of the job you are aiming to get at any given company. The range of backgrounds of employees I have trained in the use of our dashboard varies from the “expected” community manager to the team in charge of supervising financial compliance of a privately held company.
As it stands, any employee of a company can become its main brand ambassador, but how would they do that without a working knowledge of social media? Equally important is to consider that as a company it will be time and resource consuming to train all the employees in effective social media use. Therefore it makes perfect sense for companies engaging in social media to hire people with prior knowledge of – and enthusiasm for – these technologies.
So what are you waiting for?? Participating in the MOOC is a great opportunity to build your networks and develop your online digital presence to impress your current or future employer!