Tag Archives: Facebook

How to Use Social Media to Get a Job

The job market has changed quite a bit since the days of perusing the classifieds and beating the pavement. These days, it’s important to be aware of your online presence and how you might present yourself to potential employers. Social media is a wild frontier. There are a lot of possibilities, but you can also build up a bad reputation if you are not careful.

Most companies look at applicants’ online profile before considering them for a position or even an interview. So it pays to keep your nose clean. Posting up those pictures of your drunken debacle out on the town last weekend might not be the best idea. Your potential bosses most likely do not care to see you shooting Jager bombs or chugging beers.

Social media can be beneficial in your job search. It’s all about using your connections. If you are on Facebook, you probably have over one hundred friends. And out of these one hundred friends, there’s bound to be somebody working in an establishment that you might be interested in. Since most jobs these days are landed by word of mouth, it’s important to utilize your connections to the fullest.

This does not mean posting on your Facebook wall that you can’t wait to get a new job so you don’t have to work at that crap place you do now. This is another area where you have to watch your back because your co-workers or current bosses might be checking out your social media profile when you are least aware.

Contrary to popular belief and the influence of Mark Zuckerberg and Hollywood, it’s not all about Facebook either. There are plenty of other social media platforms out there; some even more helpful in your job search.

LinkedIn is a great resource for those looking to establish professional connections. In addition to hooking up with people who might be able to aid you in your job search, you can also post your resume and credentials to let all the headhunters out there know what you’re all about.

The cool thing about LinkedIn is that it’s a place where like-minded individuals come to meet other professionals and job-seekers. Lots of employers use LinkedIn to see who’s out there and who might be good for their company.

Establishing a sound online reputation might take a significant amount of time and effort, but in the long run it can pay off. The few hours that you invest now into hyping up yourself online might benefit you in dollars and cents in the near future.

The next time you are on Facebook, stop worrying about what your friends are doing and start making a good name for yourself. Somebody out there is looking at you.

Social Media Background Checks

Before you go venting on the Internet, speaking out your radical views, or posting pictures of yourself getting drunk or naked, first pause, take a deep breath and think about who might have access to this online evidence of yourself.

It’s nothing new that employers have taken into account potential employees’ online presence, including their comments and photos on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, in their hiring process. But according to a recent article in the New York Times, one company from Santa Barbara, CA has taken the social media background check to the next level.

Social Intelligence, which started a year ago, provides employers with complete files of prospective employees. The company researches many different sites on the Internet looking for both positive and negative information on applicants.

The positive information might include such things as accolades or evidence of community involvement. Say you participated in the last 5K run across town. That might show up. Or maybe you are deeply involved in the local community service scene. This would probably also appear in your profile.

The positive information will only help your cause as a job candidate. It’s the negative stuff that employers are most interested in, and what you really have to watch out for. Certain criteria that are taken into effect and reported to employers include racist remarks, reference to drug use, partying, nudity, violent characteristics or any other type of questionable behavior. Just when you thought you nailed that job interview, that week-long party in Vegas with pictures and videos to prove it might sneak up on you and shatter all your dreams.

Some may argue that the service provided by Social Intelligence is unethical and not relevant to job performance. In response to such accusations, Social Intelligence will point out that the information they look up is widely available to the entire public online.

In addition, all of the comments, photos and other potentially harmful content they report exclude those pertaining to the topics that are deemed off limits for employers during interviews. As determined by federal employment laws, these prohibited subjects of discussion include religion, race, marital status and sexual orientation.

Even so, how does all of this information determine what kind of employee the candidate will be? Maybe they like to party on the weekends, and maybe they do harbor some questionable world views. But as long as they show up for work on time and do a good job, what’s the difference, right?

Employers can argue here that a prospective employee’s off-the-clock behavior is a good indicator of their personality and therefore what kind of worker they will be. But in the case of the job applicant, this seems entirely unfair. Not every employed person out there is a public figure, so they should not all be treated as such. As if criminal background checks and credit reports weren’t enough, if you are looking for a job these days, apparently it pays to keep your nose clean all of the time.