While social media can be a great way to keep in touch with friends, search for jobs, and even express ideas and opinions about a desired product, it is these very advantages that can sometimes be detrimental to job searchers. One example would be the ever-popular Facebook that has taken the world by storm over the past five years. It is a wonderful tool for job searching, chatting with friends, and expressing feelings through status updates. But if the privacy settings are not properly tweaked, then all those seemingly private drunken photos and late night wall posts are published for all to see. I am not saying that this is common for everyone, but I have heard several horror stories from older friends entering the job world that claim they were denied certain jobs because of their unclean, forgotten Facebook accounts. The best way to prevent this is to either delete your Facebook account before applying for jobs, cleaning it up to where you wouldn’t mind your grandparents reading it, or adjusting the privacy settings so that only your friends are allowed to see certain information.
Social media can also be a great benefit for job searching. An interesting article titled “10 Social Media Tools For Executive Job Search 4 2009” provides a detailed powerpoint presentation using slideshare that provides the author’s top ten social media outlets that will enhance the job search. The benefits of blogging (ranked number 5) are explained in ways of increasing your Google rank and visibility. One tip given is to get involved in a blogosphere and started commenting on blogs about the industry you are interested in. Ranking at number six is Facebook. While I mentioned the disadvantages of this social network, here are some advantages provided by Jennifer McClure:
• Build out your Profile with all of your professional information
• Provide links back to your LikedIn Profile, website, etc.
• Don’t be boring- Facebook is more “social”
• Status Updates- keep your network informed/keep in touch
• “Blog” within Facebook to get started/share with your network
• Share links, videos, etc. to establish expertise/credibility
• Find Groups related to your industry, interests, companies, etc.
Another article, “Social Media and the Job Search”, also mentions the benefits of using social media for job searching. Stephen Kohnle expresses the importance of standing out in a crowd in order to attain jobs over other job seekers, “started with LinkedIn, leveraging my connections and tapping into the site’s array of different groups to find and connect with people in industries I’m interested in pursuing. Searching companies in these industries, I was able to identify places where I might like to work.” By doing this, he claims he is better able to, “meet decision-makers and stay on top of what’s going on.”
The final article I read on the topic today was “7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media” by Dan Schawbel. This is similar to the slideshare article I mentioned earlier in that it provides several ways to maximize the value of your personal websites. It gives step by step directions that could help most people looking to use social media as way to better appeal to decision makers.