Categorized | Management, Technology, The Search

Career Day Conclusion: Women to Dominate

The Job Shopper was invited to join this year’s American Advertising Federation Career Day in Cleveland to share our perspectives on the impact and importance of social media for new job seekers.

The audience of approximately 100 recent or pending college graduates gathered at The Plain Dealer’s headquarters in downtown Cleveland to listen to an assortment of speakers provide advice, motivation and insight into the daunting process of finding a real world career after college. The crowd of students was dominated by young women, who appear to have made up about 70% of the audience.

As the designated social media dilettante, my task was to convince this room full of Facebook aficionados of the need to create, maintain and promote a social media presence on LinkedIn instead of Facebook. Although all of the students were familiar with LinkedIn, none had built a complete profile that could competently and memorably convince a prospective employer of their professional value.

My presentation focused on the necessity to consider the impression they make with their social media content. As college students, they rarely, if ever, consider the long term consequences of indiscreet comments and photos that dominate the typical student’s Facebook page. I related stories from job seekers who lost dream jobs because of inappropriate or offensive content that surfaced during their job search and assured them that if any comment or conversation had the potential to offend, it would.

As with any professional on LinkedIn, they also need to recognize the importance of their first impression. What does their photo convey? Is their headline compelling and informative? Did they tell their personal story and convey their professional passions in their summary?

After my talk, I offered to review any student’s social media profiles to suggest how they could become career friendly. About a dozen students stayed to review their profiles, which was heartening, but what surprised me was that of the students who stayed to have their profiles critiques, all were young women. There were no young men who sought feedback, suggestions or critique of their own efforts.

Of course, this could be an anomaly, or it could reflect the miserly impact my presentation had on the young crowd. But it could also reflect gender based behavioral differences that can have long term professional consequences. The young women who are comfortable soliciting advice and prepared for critique will learn more, improve the quality of their professional product and develop valuable team building skills that will prepare them more completely for the professional world.

The young men who elect to embark on their own will discover that innovation, creativity and excellence are not solo pursuits. The best ideas and greatest innovations almost always result from group interactions, the amalgam of ideas and the absorption of both positive and negative feedback. Employers aren’t looking for brilliant loners, but for participative employees with the capacity to learn from their inevitable mistakes and contribute as part of a cohesive group.

If one day spent with the future of advertising and marketing professional is any indication, I’m betting on the women to dominate their field.

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Tim McPherson

By Tim McPherson

Tim McPherson, President and COO for Nesco Resource, has over 27 years of experience in all facets of the Staffing Services Industry.

10 Responses to “Career Day Conclusion: Women to Dominate”

  1. Caitlin Baker says:

    John –

    Thanks for your great presentation on Monday. I really learned a lot about my social media presence and the effect it could have on my future come this spring. Also, I’m glad to see you betting on the women for the future of the communications field! There is hope! Haha! But seriously – Thank You! It was a really eye opening and educational experience.

    • John Heaney says:

      Caitlin,
      Thanks so much for the kind words. And let me know if you’d ever like me to take a look at your LinkedIn profile. I’d be happy to provide my feedback to help you advance your marketing career.

    • jobshopper says:

      Caitlin,
      Thanks so much for the kind words. And let me know if you’d ever like me to take a look at your LinkedIn profile. I’d be happy to provide my feedback to help you advance your marketing career.

  2. Jennifer Luu says:

    Great conclusion! I, personally, found great value in your presentation and critique session. I think that women have shown that they are not frightened to step forth and “ask for directions”. We value the knowledge and expertise from experienced professionals. After all, we cannot follow in the successful footsteps of a professional if we do not learn from them first. Please keep up your enthusiasm and continue to help and encourage prospecting businessmen and businesswomen! Thanks for all your help!

    • John Heaney says:

      Jennifer,
      It’s also interesting that the comments so far have come from the young women involved in Career Day. I think your point about women being more willing to ask for directions is entirely accurate. And it’s also a hallmark of most of the talented people I know who recognize that soliciting feedback can improve your work and doesn’t indicate a lack of talent or confidence, but actually demonstrates a personal desire to deliver the best product you can create. I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked someone to review my work only to receive a piece of insight or inspiration that allowed me to make exponential improvements by incorporating their suggestions.

    • jobshopper says:

      Jennifer,
      It’s also interesting that the comments so far have come from the young women involved in Career Day. I think your point about women being more willing to ask for directions is entirely accurate. And it’s also a hallmark of most of the talented people I know who recognize that soliciting feedback can improve your work and doesn’t indicate a lack of talent or confidence, but actually demonstrates a personal desire to deliver the best product you can create. I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked someone to review my work only to receive a piece of insight or inspiration that allowed me to make exponential improvements by incorporating their suggestions.

  3. John –

    That would be great if you could take a look at my LinkedIn. I’ve included my link as my website in this comment. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  4. Brooke Kober says:

    I am lucky that I observed this site , exactly the right information that I was searching for! here .

  5. Jenn says:

    Gosh, I wish I would have had that informtioan earlier!

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