Social Media: A Jobseeker’s Dream-Come-True or Worst Nighmare?

As graduation inches closer, my fear of applying for and getting a job grows immeasurably larger. For every previous job I’ve had, my job search process has consisted of walking into the place and asking to speak to a manager. This strategy hasn’t failed me as of yet however, I’m pretty sure the process for a public relations position is probably somewhat different from that of a waitressing job at the local diner. In today’s economic situation jobs are obviously not something easily attained for most. Adding to the stress of searching for a job is how to search for a job. Today, social media sites are making way into the hiring process and seem to be a big deal for both employers and job-seekers. Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand and Achieve Career Success, suggests that today’s job-searchers should spend only 10% of their time submitting their resumes to job banks  and attending job fairs and the other 90% focusing on all the benefits of social media. He provides several tips to help people utilize social media in their job search process. One thing that Schawbel suggests doing instead of searching for jobs online is to search for names. Social media sites allow us to access basically anyone we wish to. With today’s sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and more, we are able to find and contact people who we may otherwise not be able to contact. Facebook and other sites also allow us to message people directly that we aren’t friends with. It’s possible to contact the hiring manager directly to get some information about the job or GIVE some information about yourself. Schawbel also mentions that search engines allow us to search for people who work in the companies and organization we are interested in. This approach could help find employee websites and other helpful information about the company. This is also a great way to introduce yourself and get people talking about you and your credentials!

Although social media can be a great tool to use in your search for employment, it can also be “hazardous,” as careerbuilder.com describes. One article on this website discusses a study completed by a firm called ExcutNet. In their study, they found that 77% of employee recruiters said that they DO check social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. to see what their possible future employees are doing in their spare time. Of this 77% of recruiters, 35% said they have eliminated candidates for jobs based on information that they retrieved from social media sites.  Careerbuilder.com also offers these three suggestions when it comes to using social media:
1.) Be Careful- Nothing is private. Don’t post anything on your site that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with an employer.
2.) Be Discrete- Many sites now offer privacy options. Take advantage of these features and make your site private.
3.) Be Prepared- During your job search and even while working, be sure to check your social media sites regularly for your friend’s comments. You can control what you say but you can’t control what other people say. So be aware and check regularly!

As we quickly move to a more technology focused society, it’s important to take advantage of all the opportunities technology can offer.However, with every good comes some bad. It’s important to be aware of the dangers that come along with using social media, especially while searching for a job. Rachel Levy, guest author on about.com, highlights some of the best features of different social media sites and tells how people can utilize those features in their job search process.

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5 Responses to “Social Media: A Jobseeker’s Dream-Come-True or Worst Nighmare?”

  1. marielorelei Says:

    When it comes to maintaining privacy with social media sites, I have found that sometimes the simplest and best thing to do is to hide your identity. Sometimes it is possible, with the proper computer skills, to find a way around the privacy settings that social networking sites have. By choosing to omit your last name or using initials, it is possible to fly under the radar while still being identifiable to family and friends.

    I really like tip number three of being prepared. I’ve heard many friends make the comment that they would not have posted certain pictures of themselves, but unfortunately someone tagged the picture and now others have seen something that they shouldn’t have. Vigilance is probably one of the most important things when it comes to social media. Friends are wonderful to have but they can definitely cause a few issues.

  2. […] Social Media: A Jobseeker’s Dream-Come-True or Worst Nighmare? by Candice […]

  3. brittany rollings Says:

    I agree that sometimes it is best with social media sites to hide your identity because you do not want to give out information to people that they can use against you. I have been on Facebook where just about anyone can find you and some of the people on those sites are strange and they are just looking for people that they can hack information from. It’s always important to be careful.

  4. Searching for someone’s name instead of a specific company is definitely a benefit of social media. I know more people than I do businesses, and hopefully this will help me get a job in the future. It is all about who you know, not necessarily what you know. I have found this true in so many cases in life. It is also important to be private in what you post online! You are so right. I have found that my habits on Facebook and Twitter have changed over the past few years because I do not necessarily post anything that I wouldn’t want an employer to see.

  5. […] “Social Media: A Jobseeker’s Dream-Come-True or Worst Nightmare?” by Candice […]

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