Does Social Networking Really Have a Career Impact?
Unfortunately, we don't have many hard numbers yet, so it's hard to say definitive things like "participating on SCN gets you more job offers." I believe the numbers proving this will come, especially as the connection between the Career Center and the rest of SCN deepens. But as for me, I don't need to see the numbers. I've had too many opportunities come my way and heard too many other success stories to think otherwise.

Does this approach work in general? Yes. Is it rewarding personally and professionally? Almost always. Do social networks play a role in making your work more visible and giving you more outlets to share your thinking? Absolutely.

I am no longer a recruiter, but I do advise SAP clients on recruiting strategy, and they tell me about their use of social networks to find and evaluate candidates. Of course, these evaluations are not always positive.

I had a recruiter tell me recently that the Google searches he does on each candidate he works with add either negatives or positives for each one, but the results are never neutral.

As for me, from the beginning of my work as a recruiter in the mid-90s, I noticed that the most sought-after SAP consultants were the ones who had made a name for themselves in the field. Social networking is one more way to do that. To this point, I have encouraged my own clients to look at SCN participation as a means of evaluating potential applicants. It's also a matter of record that corporate managers and HR departments are using LinkedIn to seek out those desirable "passive job seekers" and reduce financial dependence on job boards.

I expect the same will hold true on the SCN Career Center. Over time, we will see tighter integration between the Career Center and SCN, thereby increasing the career impact of both. We're also going to see more and more public evaluations of SAP consulting firms and consultants. This increased transparency will be controversial, but I do expect it to happen, and as it does, reputations will become the most important career currency.

Making career predictions is hazardous, but it's not hard to predict that the best SAP professionals will be the ones with the best networks. Not just because job hunting is easier, but because you do your job better when you have a "community of peers" to tap into.

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