Book by: Joshua Waldman
Review by: Jason C. Wiegand
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Iowa State University of Science and Technology
In developing professional goals and academic plans with students, it becomes increasingly apparent that academic and career advising are interconnected. Students who seek internships and professional development in advance of graduation require holistic advising. When actively competing for internship and job opportunities, it is imperative that students are cognizant of their online presence and self-regulate their behavior. Advisors are uniquely positioned to coach students regarding the threats and benefits of their online reputation. Receptive and competitive students will seek to strengthen their career prospects via social media platforms. In this workbook, Joshua Waldman (2014) models a three-pronged approach and a series of tangible strategies aimed at doing just that. He contextualizes his passion for helping job seekers through appealing to his own personal experience. After losing his job during the economic downturn, he used the opportunity to reflect on his values, improve his social media IQ, and blog about his job search. The end result is pertinent for job seekers, for those who wish to integrate academic and career advising, and for anyone with a desire to assess and polish their social media savvy.
First, it is important to keep in mind that this is a workbook. Students and advisors will not realize the potential of this workbook without actively engaging in the exercises included in each chapter. The author elects to specifically focus on the mediums of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The book is driven by the premise that when all three of these mediums are used in harmony, job seekers will have maximized their marketability and allure to potential employers. There are multiple inventories and online assessments that will lend job seekers greater insight not only in regard to their own values and brand, but also those of the companies or institutions they wish to work for. Career counselors will be especially familiar with the values-driven assessments and activities included in the first chapter. Whether or not the reader is actively seeking work, the values elicitation exercises are of benefit in that they inspire reflection and introspection. The message is clear: like good leaders, effective job seekers should know themselves well.
What sets Waldman’s work apart is the focus on tools and strategies for researching a target company or industry and, in turn, utilizing data to optimize a LinkedIn profile. Conversely, the attention devoted to the LinkedIn platform may be viewed as a weakness. But when used in combination with the numerous exercises included in this text, such as creating Google alerts, advisors and students alike will not suffer for want of additional resources and undertakings.
Whether you identify as an academic advisor, a career counselor, or a job seeker, this is a valuable investment of your time and energy. It is a resource worth adding to your career services laboratory. Advisors tasked with leading a community of student ambassadors and/or mentors are likely to discover strategies they might implement in their training. For those interested in facilitating a related course, there is an instructor’s manual available at an additional cost. Even without an instructor’s manual, implementing the strategies included in this guide will result in an improved and synchronized online presence. Serious and astute job seekers, as well as those committed to assuming a comprehensive approach to advising, will appreciate the outcome.
The Social Media Job Search Workbook: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Work in the Age of Social Media (2014). Book by Joshua Waldman. Review by Jason C. Wiegand. Bainbridge Island, WA: College Transition Publishing. 170 pp., $39.95, (Paperback), ISBN 978-1482677676