Social media skills important, but job-seekers still can expect that crucial interview from HR. By Jerry Lewis, Guest Columnist.

Home » Blog » Social media skills important, but job-seekers still can expect that crucial interview from HR. By Jerry Lewis, Guest Columnist.

Are job-seekers becoming too dependent on social media and other online tools to enhance their professional profile and resumes?

LinkedIn, for example, in its own effort to increase traffic, made it much easier to recommend “friends” for different professional skills. So much so, some think the site may have “devalued” the worth of its LinkedIn recommendation.

Job-seekers shouldn’t ignore the value of sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook, which launched its new social jobs application. Indeed, employers are checking those online profiles, and as many college students are being warned by career counselors, numerous postings of wild parties, drinking and drugs could be the reason a resume is tossed aside quickly.

One of the latest tools to emerge is an online, supposedly “confidential” web-based survey providing a job recommendation. One such site is called Skillsurvey.com, and it will ask about 30 questions to build a reference from previous employers, clients, peers, etc. Skillsurvey says it “improves quality of hire” and “eliminates ineffective reference checking.”

In a day when nearly anything in print or on paper seems to be heading to the same fate of the dinosaurs, Skillsurvey.com is attempting to replace the traditional “letter of recommendation.”

But job hunters, especially those applying for management positions, please heed this warning.

If you’re considered a viable finalist, any professional HR director is going to call you, as well as set up face-to-face interviews with the management team.

It doesn’t matter how sharp you are in social media, you must expect to be asked for at least two or three professional recommendations who can be called to discuss your job experience and background.

Other than verifying work dates online or maybe checking in online to see your personal interests and “likes,” professional HR people want to know the “real” you. Sometimes in a live call, HR will get a clue from what you don’t say about your job record, possibly indicating a problem with a past employer.

Yes, social media skills are important, and sites like LinkedIn do offer a quick snapshot of your experience and capabilities.

But anyone ignoring his or her personal communication and interview skills will still have trouble when the final hiring decision is made.

If you’re shy, lack experience in actual interviews or wonder why you keep getting passed over, consider getting a mentor – someone who can listen to your interview skills and advise you on how to be better.

Find a “real” friend to help you out. You may have 300 “friends” on Facebook, but you need a trusted “live” friend to practice for that crucial call from HR.

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