Social media talent vacuum in PR and marketing

Recruitment firm Major Players says that there’s a major shortfall of PR and marketing candidates with a general understanding of social media, as well as those with the expertise to fill specific social media roles.

It says while the market has shifted and social networking has emerged over the last two years applicants across the sector are not showing an appreciation of new trends and in particular much understanding of how social media has changed the way marketers communicate with consumers.

The firm says that CVs it is seeing for a variety of jobs across different levels, lack even a cursory mention of social media buzzwords, such as blogging or Twitter.

Out of a sample of 4500 CVs received in the last two years it says just 6% reference “Social Media”, 9% mention Twitter, and a meagre 2% talk about blogging, while 13% include Facebook (though in some this was merely highlighted in the ‘interests’ section).

This all seems really basic. I mean I remember writing pre-social media CVs (OMG they were bad) and I’m sure they all included (its been a while since I updated my CV) things like “PC skills and fluent with Microsoft Word”.

Get me with my WP skills on my CV. Of course, if I were to rattle out a CV now I would be putting how I was conversant with Twitter, Facebook and blogging in that PC and WP section (along with “reading and film” as one of my favourite hobbies).

Major players says the talent shortfall not only relates to social media but SEO as well. Only 4.7% of resumes include the term SEO. That is more understandable, but again if you understand any of this stuff and can string a sensible sentence together with any of those buzz words in then it should be on your CV in some form.

Lorraine Barker, Head of PR at Major Players says: “Putting a LinkedIn
or Twitter address, or even personal blog details, on a CV will show
employers that candidates are engaging in Social Media in some way.”

Pepsi’s activity at this year’s Super Bowl only underscores that. It is skipping its traditional game day ads in favour of a $20 million dollar social media campaign. That is the first time in 23-years that it has not had a Super Bowl ad. Times are a changing.



    As anemployer I would be very much put off by CV’s that bang on about “Social Media”

    Lets face it, these time consuming distractions are banned from more than half the offices in the land, who really wants to pay someone to sit on Twitter all day long micro blogging obsessively all manner of miniscule minutiae, gossiping on blogs and forums, pontificating, opining, baiting, trolling and bitching when they should be creating value for the business?

    Keep that stuff off your CV if you want to get yourself employed

    Oh and since when did recruiters start to position themselves as “Industry Experts”? anyone who has read James Caan’s excellent autobiography will know exactly how these chaps operate

  • Evi Karmou

    I tend to disagree with Sean as I am an avid social media user and pioneered our company’s FB and Twitter pages. I struggled to get our IT understand why I need to have access to those pages.
    I’d say just put Social Media as an interest when the job role you are applying for asks for social media knowledge.
    Let’s face it, if someone wants to be distracted at work, they will, FB or not!

  • Gordon Macmillan

    @Ruttledge Surely it is the right CV for the right job? If you are going for a job that is very digital centric having social media skills sounds like a bonus to me.

    @Evi ditto on the IT front SM and the IT department is not a match made in heaven. They like to block stuff and stop you using things, which can make it tough when you’re trying to experiment with social media.

  • Lee-Ann Bedford

    @Ruttledge: Social Media is only time consuming distractions if a company does not have a clear strategy and policy to use these mediums in a way to create value for their company.

    I would certainly not keep them off my CV, but rather include them in a way that shows I understand how to create and add value through these mediums rather than socialise on company time. There is a difference. I think it is important to show a knowledge in emerging technologies and trends (though I am not sure I would call this emerging but rather emerged) that are relevant to your industry.

    I certainly believe companies who do not understand how to use social media for business would feel this way and ban the use. I believe in relevancy, strategy and measurement to achieve goals and add value.

  • Laura Sherman

    I agree with you! A skill is a skill. Anything can be deemed a waste of time or inappropriate, if misused.

    In today’s era, knowing how to communicate through social media and blogging is key. One cannot be proud of ignorance.

    However I agree with the other posters here that you have to know your audience. And if I were to apply for a job with Mr. Ruttledge, I would certain remove all traces of my Twitter, LI and Facebook knowledge. Guess I’d probably have to apply under a fake name though. Too easy to research and see that I’m all over these sites.

    Good thing I’m self employed!