Personlig branding gennem sociale medier: Vejen til det rigtige job i en postmoderne tid?

Mathilde Heinz Nielsen & Nadia Kim Kristensen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

thesis examines how personal branding through social media can contribute to finding the right job and why communicating the personal brand through social media is interesting. The theoretical framework in which the thesis investigates the problem statement is compiled by four parts. Firstly, theory about postmodern society is applied to describe which values and needs characterize the postmodern man. Secondly, personal branding theory is applied to define the term and establish how personal branding can contribute to finding the right job. Thirdly, personal branding theory is combined with theory proposing that individuals, as a result of living in a postmodern consumer society, perceive themselves and others as a commodity of consumption and therefore have a constant need for reinventing themselves to stay attractive to consumers. This can be viewed as a metaphor for the individual branding himself/herself towards potential employers. Lastly, theory on social media is examined to determine what it is, what role it plays in society and what purpose it serves. In the analysis we have performed two focus group interviews with the aim of establishing how individuals consume social media. Furthermore, research interviews with a number of HR employees from Danish companies were carried out with the aim of investigating how and to what extent social media are part of the recruitment process as well as how employers perceive social media. Overall, the employed theoretical framework argues that social media can be used by individuals as a strategic tool for personal branding with the aim of finding the right job and that social media offer a transparency, which gives employers an advantage in determining whether to hire an individual or not – to find the perfect match. Our empirical investigations, on the other hand, suggest that individuals are major consumers of social media, but that they perceive social media like Facebook as ‘just for fun’. Though some individuals manage their appearance on the media, they generally do not consider social media as a means of communication for professional matters. The interviewed employers use social media to some extent, although they do not perceive social media as a strategic recruitment tool at this time. Currently the financial crisis has an impact on the labor market, which influences individuals as well as companies. As it becomes increasingly tough for individuals to find a job and companies also become increasingly demanding, the more the reason for individuals to brand themselves. We conclude the thesis by arguing that it is both interesting and rewarding for the individual to brand himself/herself through social media, even though these media - for the time being - are not the preferred recruitment tool of the employers. Networking strategically with peers through social media can be the path to many unexpected possibilities, and personal branding contributes to the individual realizing own potential and competencies as well as how to communicate the personal brand. This ensures that the individual can identify the right job. Furthermore, continuous development within social media is to be expected. Thus we conclude that the combination of the strengths of personal branding and the possibilities, which social media offer can highly contribute to finding the right job and therefore communicating the personal brand through social media is interesting.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2010
Number of pages304