Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Using social media as job search and career development business analysis resources 1: tapping into the widening range of information sources

This is my first installment to a series that I initially began planning in September, 2014, as an outcome of a conversation that I had just had with the business school dean of one of my alma maters. At the time we discussed two possible series that I might write, on the points of intersection between business intelligence and its gathering, and social media and related interactive online channels as sources of actionable information and insight.

I have already begun posting to one of those series, starting with my November 27, 2014: Using Social Media as Crucial Business Analysis Resources 1: capturing new sources of opportunity and competitive advantage. That series focuses on the use of social media and related online information resources in developing actionable business intelligence for improving the competitive position of a business organization. This series has a goal of addressing a somewhat similar set of issues, but with its discussion focusing on how this type of business intelligence can be used by individuals as they seek out better jobs and pursue more meaningful, stable career paths.

I began my business-oriented series relatively soon after meeting with this dean, adding its first installment to my postings queue in the first then-available spot on it. I had already written and uploaded new postings for other already ongoing series up to the end of November, so that meant November 27. I delayed on starting this second series as I have made a now long-standing editorial decision to finish already ongoing series for my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development first, before starting a succeeding new series there. That meant finishing my already-started and partly developed series: What do C Level Officers Do? (See my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3, postings 376 and following for that series and its 21 parts.) And this, up to here, explains my timing and something of how this posting fits into a larger Jobs and Careers Guide context.

To turn more directly to this series itself and to more formally start it, my goal here is to begin to discuss how social media and interactive online channels create whole new opportunities for you to better:

• Identify industries and business sectors where you can best focus your job search campaigns,
• Better identify which specific businesses to apply for positions at, within your target industries and market sectors, and
• More effectively research those businesses, what they do and how, and what they face in their marketplace and from their competition so you can more effectively present yourself as a solution to their problems that prompt them to hire in the first place. In this regard I stress a point that I have made several times in the course of writing this blog: that businesses hire people who they are confident can solve specific problems and meet specific needs that they see as pressing and that they cannot resolve with their current staff at hand. And they look for and hire people who they see as willing and even eager to do this work, and who they can comfortably work with.
• Social media holds the specific potential for adding a new dimension to this background research and preparation, where you can look up and learn about the people who you would meet with and be interviewed by, the people who they report to, and other key stakeholders in this business. You can find out where they have worked and what they have worked on, at least in general categorical terms for the later. And you can learn before meeting them, something of their communications styles and preferences, among other key details.
• The more you know about a business and its people, the more effectively you can meet and address these concerns, and the flow of information and insight available to you through interactive online and social media channels can be invaluable for accomplishing that. It can even be the essential and even only source for some of this information that you would need here.
• And as a next step consideration in the job search process, I offer this series as a source of best practices considerations for more effectively negotiating with a prospective next employer, as to compensation and other terms of employment issues if they do make you an offer.
• And on a longer timeframe, tapping into these new information and insight gathering resources can help you to more effectively plan out and carry through on overall career planning and development too, where you look beyond the immediate here-and-now of the particular job held or sought after, to the larger work-life pattern and career goals that you would pursue.
• I also plan on discussing these and related issues in the special contexts of startup and early stage businesses, where more traditional business intelligence sources might be limited, or even nonexistent for what they can offer.
• I will discuss the issues of developing and using business intelligence in the contexts of in-house versus consultant and related positions.
• And I will discuss the issues and challenges of evaluating information obtained, for accuracy and consistency, for timeliness, for possible bias and for contextual relevance. And I will discuss in that context, the issues of connecting diversely sourced information together to assemble a fuller picture that can offer strategic competitive value in the jobs market.

I will begin addressing all of this in my next series installment where I will discuss traditional and newly emerging sources of potential business intelligence, their strengths and limitations, and how they can collectively tell a more complete and insightful story. I will then work my way through the above bullet pointed discussion points, ending with the last on that list to tie the series together as a whole. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3 and at the first directory page and second, continuation page to this Guide. And you can find this and related material at Social Networking and Business and its continuation page too.

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