51% of Employers Pass on Applicants Due to Social Media: How Social Media Can Hurt Or Help Your Career.

How to Use Social Media to NOT Land a Job.

According to a New CareerBuilder Survey, the number of Employers passing on applicants due to Social Media Posts continues to rise. This year 51% of employers said they have found content that caused them to not hire a candidate, up from 43% last year and 34% in 2012. An additional 12% don’t research candidates on social media, but plan to start.

What are they finding that’s eliminating candidates from consideration?

The most common social media reasons to exclude a job candidate:

  • Posting provocative or inappropriate photographs or information (46%)
  • Posting information about them drinking or using drugs (41%)
  • Bad-mouthing previous company or fellow employee (36%)

The most common social media reasons to hire a candidate:

  • Feel for candidate’s personality – see good fit with company culture (46%)
  • Background information supported professional qualifications for job (45%)
  • Site conveyed a professional image (43)

How to Use Social Media to Land a Job.

The Society for Human Resource Management survey reports that 77% of organizations use social networks to recruit, 69% use social networks to target and recruit candidates with specific skill sets and 57% use social networks to make it easy for potential candidates to contact their organization about employment. Career coach Miriam Salpeter suggests using the strategies below to land a job via social media.

Take advantage of employer’s reaching out to you in social media:

  1. Use every network that makes sense for you.
  2. Be active on networks that take advantage of your best skills.
  3. Identify your target audience, “like” and engage with them.
  4. Visit, “like” or “follow” the companies that interest you.
  5. Optimize profiles with keywords employers use to search for someone like you.

How to Use Personal Branding to Land a Job

“Personal branding” is a term first used by Tom Peters in a 1997 article. Your personal brand refers to how others perceive you, how they consider your knowledge and skills and the things that make you unique and different. Today the prevalence of social media makes personal branding more important than ever. With so many employers searching social profiles, you should spend some time figuring out your personal brand. Then let your personal branding strategy drive your social profiles and your social content. Brand relationship trainer Maria Elena Duron suggests starting to create your personal brand by answering the questions below.

Find your unique promise of value by considering these questions:

  1. What does my personal brand promise to my clients and customers?
  2. How will I consistently deliver that promise?
  3. How will I make people remember my promise?
  4. How can I ensure my brand promise is unique and memorable?

I am currently reading Sally Hogshead’s new book How The World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through The Science of Fascination. Sally is a former advertising copywriter who is now applying what she learned in branding products and services to branding people. Her system comes with an online assessment and ways to create an anthem of your highest distinct value expressed in 49 personality archetypes.

I discovered my personality archetype is Avant-Garde which lead to my anthem of “Delivering Enterprising Vision With Resourceful Action.” For the Spring I am incorporating these insights and resources into my classes at Johns Hopkins University. I have developed a graduate course 663.610 Personal Branding & Writing for the Web, plus added personal branding to my 661.454 Blogging & Digital Copywriting course.

Have you thought about how your social media activity affects your career? How can you use social media to find career opportunities? Have you followed a personal branding exercise and integrated it across all your social media accounts and activity?

Shakespeare Predicts Super Bowl Commercial Winners: Research Shows Sex And Humor Aren’t The Key, It’s Story

This year marketers are paying a record $4 million for a :30 second Super Bowl ad to reach a record of over 111.3 million viewers. Yet, for that money it’s not enough, advertisers need their ads to go viral. Knowing what makes a Super Bowl ad buzz worthy is important in this high stakes marketing event. There are a lot of predictions and theories out there, but research my colleague and I conducted found that the underbelly of a great commercial is whether it tells a story or not.

What does William Shakespeare have to do with Super Bowl Commercials? Our two-year analysis of 108 Super Bowl commercials found a significant relationship between dramatic form and favorability in consumer Super Bowl ad rating polls such as USA Today’s Ad Meter and Spotbowl.com. The research pulls from Aristotle’s Poetics and “Freytag’s Pyramid” five act plot structure popularized by dramatist such as Shakespeare to reveal the power of story.

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A 5-Act Story Following Freytag’s Pyramid is The Secret to Super Bowl Ad Success.

According to Freytag, a drama is divided into five parts called acts, and these acts combine to form a dramatic arc: Inciting Moment, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Moment of Release. We found that consumer ratings were significantly higher for commercials that follow a full five-act dramatic form compared to commercials that did not. Additionally, the more acts commercials had (3 versus 2) the higher the ratings.

Based on this analysis and advancement of narrative theory, my prediction for this year’s Super Bowl ad winner will be Budweiser’s Puppy Love. Viewers favor ads with dramatic plot lines. Plot is what Aristotle emphasized in Poetics as early as 335 BC.

The power of story has already drawn 30 million views on YouTube and significant press coverage for “Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial — ‘Puppy Love'” two days before the actual game and official airing of the spot.

“What Makes A Super Bowl Ad Super for Word-of-Mouth Buzz?: Five-Act Dramatic Form Impacts Super Bowl Ad Ratings” is being published Fall 2014 in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. The more complete a story marketers tell in their commercials the higher it performs in the ratings polls, the more people like it, want to view it, and share it.

What are your predictions for Sunday’s Super Bowl ad winners?