The 411 on social networking
For better or worse, social networking sites have spread like wildfire. With more than 60 million people on Facebook alone, and most individuals maintaining profiles on multiple sites, employers and recruiters are beginning to capitalize and use these sites to scout talent and learn more about their potential or current employees.
For job seekers, discretion in the posting of personal material to public online forums is essential. For example, it’s probably not in your best interest to show your employers a minute-by-minute account of your bachelor or bachelorette party—especially if you are still fuzzy on the details yourself. Either edit your security setting so only people you know and trust can view the album, or skip posting it altogether.
However, when it comes to creating and promoting your online brand, you don’t always have to be on the defensive. Instead, use the Web to your advantage, and make sure that when a potential employer or recruiter Googles your name, they’re going to be impressed by what they see.
For example, if you haven’t already, start commenting on blogs that are relevant to your industry. Posting intelligent and insightful comments and initiating quality discussions about relevant topics or trends will provide employers with a glimpse of your expertise and capabilities, and could interest them in learning more. Frequent commenting on blogs can help you spread your name and gain credibility. Plus, it’s a great way to make contacts and connections that can help you along the way.
In addition, make sure you stay up-to-date on the new tools and features being added to the networks. In April, LinkedIn is launching a service to help members find experts in certain business fields. You might want to add some key search terms related to your skills (SAP, Java, etc.) to your profile to ensure that employers looking for candidates with these skill sets will stumble upon you.
Posted by Amy D.