Help Wanted: “Seeking Social Media Specialist”

by Sarah Shea

As a college senior facing the “real world” come December 17, I have been avidly reading job postings over the past few months. On my search, one thing has consistently stood out—the significance of social media.

Social media standing in the foreground of job postings comes with little surprise. Its presence has rapidly increased in the past several years; naturally, social channels have made their way into job descriptions.

Even in my personal life, I have seen the effect of this phenomenon. In a year’s time, I have gone from having a Facebook profile and a hardly touched Twitter account to being a social media groupie of sorts. I once used Facebook to keep in touch and look at one picture too many. I have now joined Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest.

I initially thought these social media outlets served little purpose aside from helping me procrastinate, but now I believe they have the potential to define my future as a public relations practitioner. Repeatedly, I see job postings for “social media specialists” and “social media executives.” This leaves me wondering, how is social media redefining the PR profession?

The new job opportunities associated with social media offer benefits—one being a pretty lofty salary. According to an article by Charlie White on mashable.com, social media managers can earn upwards of $80,000 per year. Now I could potentially get paid to use a skill I have mastered solely for entertainment purposes.

White offers one tip that stands out among the rest: “be proficient in all social channels.” In the new age of social media, just being a proficient Twitter user will not make the cut. Being a multifaceted social media user will only up the ante in the job search.

As graduates enter the workforce, knowledge of social media no longer seems to be an option; rather, it is a vital part of any job search. So as we delve deeper into the social media era, what’s next? Will we begin seeing “proficient in Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and WordPress” under the “skills” section of résumés?

I think we just might.

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Filed under Career, The Industry, Trends

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