Networking Notes – Social Networking Tips
Many job seekers and employers joined the ranks of these online social networks by creating profiles and connecting with job seekers. These social networking Web sites link you with employers and could help you secure your next job. Take heed of the suggestions below to ensure that you get the most out of your online social networks.
Accept it. Your online presence is now a part of your job search. Whether you like it or not, your once “social” presence online is now a recruiting and evaluation tool for recruiters and hiring managers. Job seekers need to adjust accordingly. Job seekers need to build their online profiles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as if they were being viewed by a potential employer, in order to guard against negative perceptions, and to capitalize on your online presence. Avoid all unprofessional content and build your network wisely.
List your real name, not an alias. Everyone may have known you as Big Bruiser in college, but a potential employer won’t recognize you, or moreover, take you seriously.
Post a real picture of you, an unpretentious, professional-looking headshot. No group shots with friends or photos of you engaging in questionable behavior; just a simple, professional photo of you, alone.
Use discretion, and privacy settings, when creating photo albums. When posting photos online make sure they can only be viewed by friends, or block specific users in your network from viewing pictures that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. Your best option is to play it safe, however, and refrain from posting any compromising photos of yourself on any social networking site. You cannot control what others post on the Internet, but you can control the online image you create for yourself.
Limit who can view your entire profile. Make sure only friends can look at your personal information, pictures and other applications. It only takes one unintentional, online misstep to turn off a potential employer; safeguard yourself by maintaining as much privacy as possible in your online profiles.
Don’t be afraid to make new friends. That’s how you network! Connect with friends of your friends. If you feel unsure, restrict the profile information that your new friend can view. Be mindful of your network, and don’t click yes to every friend request you receive. Do not send friend requests on Facebook to potential employers, unless you are absolutely positive that the entirety of your profile is professional and inoffensive.
Don’t be too casual. In online communication, it’s easy to become casual in your communication style. When interacting with recruiters, hiring manager, or any potential colleagues or employers, remain professional, yet personable, at all times. Simply because you are now “Friends” on Facebook, are LinkedIn, or follow each other on Twitter does not mean you’re friends. Act accordingly.
Social networking sites are an important, contemporary job searching tool. Heed the tips above and then get online and start connecting with professionals who can help you reach your career goals.