Social Media—Friend or Foe in the Job Search?

08.15.12 | Posted in Job Search

“Don’t post anything you would be embarrassed for Grandma to see!”  That’s the rule at my house for managing social media.  It’s simple and to the point.  And my teenagers “get it.”  They also know anything they post now can impact their ability to get a job later.

If you are in transition and looking for a job opportunity, make sure you double check all of your social media sites—Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.  Be sure there is nothing damning that could lead a potential employer to eliminate you as a candidate.

Speaking as someone who has hired people, my first course of action once the résumés are stacked in the A, B, C piles is to do an online search on all “A” pile candidates.  I quickly eliminate anyone who has pictures posted that indicate the use of poor judgment that could embarrass the company. I also look through profile posts, if available, to see if the person represents himself well.  I read newspaper articles and anything else I find to get a read on my top picks.

To use social media to find a job, I highly recommend LinkedIn.  I am biased, and I admit it.  I have found LinkedIn to be more professional than other social media sites.  I think the others are important and certainly have their place; however, when it comes to a job search and quality self-representation, LinkedIn is my favorite.  Here are a few tips to improve your chances for success in landing a job.

  • Be sure your profile is complete and accurate.
  • Be clear about what you are looking for and be sure to check “job opportunities” and “networking” as reasons you would like to connect with others.
  • Join affinity groups in the areas of your greatest interest—alumni groups, professional or industry groups.  Let the other members of those groups know that you are actively looking for employment and would appreciate referrals.
  • Be active on the discussion boards to showcase your knowledge.
  • When appropriate, offer to be of service to others who are cyber networking.  This creates a sense of obligation for them to help you.

Key take aways?  Avoid the social media “foe” by being responsible with what you put out in cyberspace.  Embrace the social media “friend” by participating in the places where you are most likely to interface with those who can help you land the job of your dreams.

Onward and Upward!

Lisa A. Dominisse – guest blogger

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