It goes without saying that individuals in my generation are no dummies when it comes to social media.  We have grown up on sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and have become experts in the field of social networking.  That being said, our so-called “skills” should be wonderful advantages when applying for jobs, right?  Well, most CEO’s would agree…however, many companies recently have expressed disappointed in their hiring of millennials.

“Companies hire millennials because they think they’re good at social media. Then their bosses discover they don’t have those skills and get frustrated,” William Ward, professor of social media at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, says.  “Social media expectations are often higher for millennials than for older workers, who may be just as inept.”

But wait, if millennials are experts in the field of social networking…why are companies disappointed in their performances?

Yes, millennials have spent probably the most amount of time on social media, so ultimately they know their way around social networking.  However, there is a difference between being an expert of online communication and an expert of professionalism on social media.

According to Ward, who teaches a series of popular undergraduate and graduate courses on social media at Syracuse, millennials are lacking in a number of critical areas. While they’re very good at connecting with people they already know, they often fail to understand the professional opportunities and pitfalls posed by networks.

Regardless of the position you are applying for, it is good to be familiar with these professional opportunities and skills on social media.  In this day in age, social networking is a prime means of communication in the professional world.  Therefore, we must disregard our old habits on social media, and adopt new skills that will benefit us in the work place.

So brace yourself…a quick social media 101 is happening now!

In order to succeed in your career, social media experts have come up with 5 important skills every millennial should acquire before entering the workforce.  Pay close attention college peers, this applies directly to us.

1. Know When to Hit The Bleep Button – “Millennials sometimes fail to appreciate that personal profiles can have professional repercussions. Twitter, Facebook, and other networks are largely public platforms; comments made can — and often do — get back to bosses.”  Guess Mom and Dad were right.  What you put out on the web, is out there to viewed by anyone.  Don’t make yourself look dumb!

2.  Use Social Media To Save Time – “A recent McKinsey report notes that social media has the potential to save companies $1.3 trillion, largely owing to improvements in intra-office collaboration. Internal social networks like Yammer enable employees to form virtual work groups and communicate on message boards. Instead of endless back-and-forths on email, co-workers can post and reply in continually updated streams.”

3. Understand How To Crunch Numbers – We all care so much about how many likes, favorites, retweets, and shares we get on social media. Numbers matter.  However, we can use this number desire to our advantage in the workforce. “While social media is about authentic human interaction, it’s also an arena where data can easily be collected and applied to improve results. Knowing what data to look for, where to find it, and what to do with it separates real experts from mere social natives. ”

4. Master the Multi-Network Shuffle – We all have our favorite social media outlet.  However, in the workforce, it is beneficial  to be well versed on how to use multiple social media outlets at one time. Especially in regards to campaigns, it is vital that you can orchestrate different tactics that fit different social media outlets.  For instance, “catchy images and videos are seeded onto traditional text-based networks like Twitter and Facebook.”

5. Network Professionally on Social Media – This one is as basic as it sounds.  In order to establish yourself in the professional world, you must network both on and off the web. Both outlets are important in securing a stable job. Use social media to your advantage when networking.  You might surprise a future employer with your social networking knowledge.


Good luck college peers!