Job Search Jenna: Social Networking Tips

Several days ago I was doing my usual late night Facebook check when I saw the most surprising thing on my newsfeed: an acquaintance of mine had interviewed with a company, then came home and made his status about how he did not like them. Later he wrote that he was going to return for a second round interview anyway because he was desperate for employment. To make matters worse, he included the name of the company so that if by chance the employer were to find him on Facebook they’d immediately disregard him as a candidate.

It may sound like common sense to refrain from such blatant criticism of a potential employer, but you’d be surprised at what people advertise on social networking sites. Believe it or not, employers are thoroughly searching for information about you on these sites, especially once you become one of the top candidates for a position within their company. A study conducted by Harris Interactive for found that 45% of employers use social networking sites to screen job candidates.

Though we must be careful with how we express ourselves on the internet, the ability to utilize social networking tools is now a highly sought after skill set amongst employers. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 22% of Americans use one or more forms of social networking sites. Another statistical finding says that over 34 million Americans ages 18-29 use them frequently. This goes to show that if you aren’t brushed up on your social networking skills, your competition is.

So what are some important factors to keep in mind while social networking?
  • Keep your pictures and word content clean
  • Make sure your interests and “about me” section reflect you in a positive light
  • Beware of grammatical errors, this can reflect poorly on your online communication skills
In today’s job market, the ability to social network is important. Thousands of companies now have social networking profiles to maintain contact with their customers and they need people like you to run them. As more and more job searchers are listing social networking on their resume, I want to encourage you to list your social networking skills, and be specific. If you utilize multiple sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, be sure to include them all but make sure they are well maintained. You can add a personal touch to your profile, but be sure your overall presentation is professional. You never know who is looking!

Job Search Jenna '10

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