Last night I attended a presentation about social media and branding by Marc Smith from Amuse Consulting Inc. L2 Accent Reduction sponsored the Human Resources Management Association event. Many Human Resource Directors admitted that social media is changing how companies recruit. For many, they no longer consider references and instead prefer to Google someone’s name.
A few months ago, I was speaking to a recent immigrant from Iraq. In her first three months in Canada, she said that she realized that one of the most common answers people gave her in response to questions she had was, “Just Google it.” The internet is changing how we do things, and how we find information.
Unfortunately, many New Canadians do not engage in social media. Even though we know social media is quite active all around the world. For example, the use of Twitter in the Egyptian protests over Mubarak’s leadership. However, if the immigrant Canadian has not created a Linkedin profile, they are losing the advantage that being visible on the internet gives to other prospective job candidates.
Such online presence can validate a immigrant’s skills, and carry far more weight than a traditional reference. Traditional references these days have too many side bar issues with liability. Most of the time, all a reference will say is “Marc worked here from 1999 to 2004 and left on good terms”. However, through your personal branding on social media, an employer can know a lot more and that can be an advantage in the Canadian Labour Market.