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Mary Beth McCabe, in her exploratory research article Social Media Marketing Strategies for Career Advancement: An Analysis of LinkedIn, addresses this social media platform’s role in the field of recruitment and discusses the reasons social media have changed the traditional job-seeking strategies. The researcher reviews the literature on the subject, analyses own personal data, and proposes a model of successful career advancement for the users of LinkedIn. This paper comprises an analysis of the researcher’s stance, beginning with a summary and proceeding with a review of the arguments given and the researcher’s possible biases. The conclusion illustrates the author’s view on the subject.
McCabe’s Main Points
With the advancement of social media, job seekers no longer rely solely on traditional newspaper ads or internet sites, such as Craigs’ list or Indeed or career centers’ interviews. Social Media provide tools for networking, personal branding, and presentation and simplify the search for the most qualified candidates or the most skill and experience-appropriate positions. Alumni often assist each other in recommendations, and professionals in the field of art benefit from being able to display their work.
LinkedIn, in particular, allows for the more natural development of professional connections, self-marketing, and research on prospective employers. Users could also be considered for an unadvertised job. The platform allows for a cycle of self-promotion, group creation and participation, outside recommendations, and personal data download (McCabe, 2017, p.93).
The Researcher’s Model
McCabe’s conclusions stem from the literature reviewed and her own experiences on the platform. She makes a logical argument that LinkedIn has indeed changed the strategies for career advancement, as the literature contains examples of career success and diminishes the role of the middleman, job agencies. Her opinion that when the user works on their profile, their careers benefit is substantiated. The model thus proposed, the Set, Biograph, Recommend, Groups, Measure, allows for cyclical improvement, particularly in the Recommend and Groups field, as evidenced by the researcher’s downloaded profile data (McCabe, 2017, p.96).
While compared to the traditional resume method, it is the peer recommendations that make the most difference, while groups allow for easier access to relevant information. The Inspire, Promote, Educate and Connect addition, aimed at providing context and purpose, allows for identification of the skills one needs for a particular position and the availability of it (McCabe, 2017, p.96). The researcher avoids confirmation bias by providing contrary sources and includes the perspective of those seeking career positions by other means, such as online job websites.
The Researcher’s Opinion
The author’s opinion is that the researcher is consistent in her article; her conclusions are based on a thorough analysis of literature and her own experiences on the LinkedIn platform, as well as from analysis of personal data. While the review section could have been better structured and the concerns of older generations better addressed, the researcher lists certain drawbacks of the platform listed in other sources to address the question adequately. Those include not being of assistance in specific career fields, such as Medicine, or security-oriented ones, such as Defense. Older generations may find it hard to acquire the social media skills that today’s young applicants possess. The profile personalization is somewhat limited, and third parties may acquire the personal data.
The author’s perspective is that LinkedIn is a platform that helps advance career possibilities. Still, a specific model of action is based on how social media works is needed to fully exploit its benefits. On the other hand, a study by Utz indicates that “the effect of strategic networking was higher on Twitter than on LinkedIn” (2698). The same scholar has found that it is unclear whether Linkedin users genuinely benefit more from using the platform, or those already successful in their career tend to use this platform more frequently than others (Utz, 2016, p. 2699). The article is thorough in exploring that self-marketing is a successful career advancement strategy when the user actively works on developing and promoting the personal brand.
McCabe, M. B. (2017). Social media marketing strategies for career advancement: An analysis of LinkedIn. Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, 29(1), 85-99.
Utz, S. (2016). Is LinkedIn making you more successful? The informational benefits derived from public social media. New Media & Society, 18(11), 2685-2702.