With social media as big as it is now, learning how to find a job using social media can play a huge part in landing a good job because employers are watching and learning what a job candidate is really like through social media websites like Facebook. Social media is fast becoming the #1 hangout of most people with active users reaching towards 700 million by the end of 2011. College students make up a large part of the social media network industry, especially on. With jobs being scarce as they are learning how to find a job using social media is not a bad idea, especially for college grads that have student loans staring them down.
Social media (incase you’ve been living in a cave, monastery or a convent without electricity for the last 6 or 7 years), is definitely a place you can let all your friends know what you have been up to, what you are doing, and is in many cases a snapshot of who, what, and how you are. And equally so, it’s a place where you can get a glimpse of what your friends (and their friends) are up to. It is the ultimate networking tool, whether you use it for a toy to waste time or a tool to build your personal or business brand.
Most teens and 20 something year olds are not too concerned about what their friends may say about them or carry on about on their profile walls or comments on their status messages, posts or photos. What this demographic (targeted group) often overlooks is that potential employers or even worse, potential ‘in-laws’ can also see who they are and what their lifestyle is like. Employers have found that social media provides them an excellent opportunity to learn more about potential employees. The harsh reality is that employers can also monitor the conduct of employees through social media network profiles. I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself, “I can just hide my profile from my boss,” right? How long will that last, especially if your boss or human resource manager asks why they can’t see it.
If an employer sees a lifestyle and reputation of an employee as casting a negative light on their company – especially in professional sales or where an employee has active interaction with the public – it could mean grounds for termination. If the proverb is true that says you become like those you associate with, it would not take an employer very long to decide if a candidate for a particular position or an employee in their company was ‘company material’ or not. Whether its your profile photo, your photo album, your status messages, the comments and banter that go with them, or even the profiles of your associations on Facebook (or whatever social media network you most enjoy), it can become a double-edged sword in your life if you are not careful.
Yes, it’s great being able to let your hair down (if you have it) and let ‘your world’ see how crazy and fun you are. No one knows better than this author. Keep in mind that the Internet can capture a single moment of your life (good or bad) or any indiscretions. Whether you want it or not, it can be forever online with your name attached to it. Keep in mind that in many cases, your life is only a Google search away from anyone that seeks to find out who, what, and how you are OR what you have done – whether for good or otherwise.
Here are some practical steps that you may want to seriously consider if you want to guard against the lure of ‘letting it all hang out’ online and suffering the consequences of doing so:
1) Decide once and for all if the Internet will be a toy in your life or a tool. I am not saying that you cannot enjoy using the Internet for recreation or for fun. I have personally enjoyed more hours than I would like to admit playing games online with my children – I mean hundreds of hours. The Internet is a great place to relax or decompress, for sure. However, we must each decide to what extent we will take our ‘enjoyment’ of the Internet, and how much of our enjoyment (personal lifestyle) will become public. Ultimately, the person that begins to see the Internet and social media as a tool, will be way ahead of the rest of their peers in today’s electronic global business world and marketplace.
2) If you have a social media network profile(s), consider purging photos of you that would cast a questionable shadow over your lifestyle and character. This means un-tagging yourself in photos that others have posted as well as removing photos that you have posted that just plain ‘stupid’ to have posted. It is even smarter to ask those who have ‘compromising photos of you to delete them completely, not only from their social media profile, but from their computers. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and a picture of you in a compromising situation could end up in front of your employer, or even worse, your future spouse… and even worse than that, his or her parents, your parents or even your children …by all means, do all that you can to erase those compromising photos from your history.
3) Never do or say or show anything online that you would not want the entire world to have access to or find out about you. Even with password protection, private communities, and personal Websites or profiles, most basic hacking tools can break through most privacy protections and gain access to your ‘personal’ life, especially if your personal life is not encrypted using SSL with strong encryption. If someone wants to dig up dirt on you, they can.
4) A social media presence is the ultimate character reference in some employers eyes, because it reflects the sort of person you are and the sort of character you have. Jobs have even been lost because of employers finding and reviewing potential employee’s social media profiles. Consider rewriting your social media network profile to show the ‘adult’ you to the world and what you really are like at your core as an individual and responsible adult. This will be one of the greatest assets in reflecting who you are to a potential employer. And yes, employers DO check social media profiles (and even sometimes ask for you to show them your profile while interviewing you so that they can learn more about you and how you will fit into their organization. Be excited about sharing it with them should they ask, and be able to because you know that it is something ‘your momma would like.’
5) Consider setting up a self-hosted Website for yourself where you can post your résumé, letters of reference, and information about the real you to a potential employer. Having a ‘cleaned up’ social media profile is important, but having your own self-hosted Website is the greatest business card, whether you are looking for a job or looking to start a business online. This is an inexpensive and very productive tools in today’s highly competitive job market. Those who don’t have their own Websites will never know what hit them when it comes finding a job, since employers most often are very impressed with someone who has enough going for them and is savvy enough to know that an online presence is important to building personal brand.
6) Companies are being very careful on how they present themselves to the world and tightening the requirements on employee behaviour in public whether on or off the job. As a result, social media profiles like Twitter and Facebook are often considered by human resource departments and job placement organizations as a way to screen likely candidates for employment positions. Become known for what you are passionate about in your life and what your ambitions and focus are. This impresses potential employers or clients (if you are in business for yourself).
There is no better way to show a potential employer that you are a top candidate than by having your own Website, a clean and positive social media profile, and a large following on Twitter and your social network profile that shows your posts as being intelligent, responsible, socially responsible, and portraying a positive public image.
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If you find that you have too much to do in the time that you have to do it, and you do not want to hire an employee or pay typical wages, consider outsourcing offshore. One good source for outsourcing of technology and virtual assistant work is through ITfamilyGroup.com, strategic partner of ours.