Today I read a rant by a recent journalism grad who thinks it is ludicrous for a potential employer to demand candidates know the ins and outs of social media sites. This writer then went on to bemoan her unemployed state and I thought - yeah, no duh!
It is almost irresponsible for a writer not to understand the importance of social media and its huge impact on the world. It is likewise ridiculous for those writers not to know how to utilize a select few social media outlets. Does that mean all recent grads need to join Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, Plurk, Bebo, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, YouTube, etc? No. But a responsible modern journalist should actively belong to a few sites and know the general feel of the others.
I’m in the process of hiring a summer intern and one of the main qualifications I have is a working knowledge of both Facebook and Twitter. Since I control the web content for the teen site, Twitter and Facebook are used daily. If I have to take the time to explain every aspect of both these sites to an intern it is time spent away from our main goal - building the brand.
So it’s not ridiculous for employers to ask that an applicant know social media. And if you think it is you need to jump on the bandwagon fast.