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How Your Social Media Profiles Can Help You Land a Job (or Lose One)

December 2nd, 2011

For the last five years or so, there’s been plenty of buzz about social media and its potential seismic impact on every aspect of our lives. Some marketers naturally exaggerate the influence of Facebook and Twitter, because it stimulates businesses competition for social media advertising space. But can social sites really make or break your job prospects? Let’s take a closer look.

Professional networking sites like LinkedIn can certainly help you – as well as your associates and allies—when it comes to passing names along to companies and people who are hiring. If your friend knows a hiring manager and she scribbles your name and phone number on a cocktail napkin for him, that’s networking. But if she can simply introduce the two of you on LinkedIn, he’ll be able to review your profile and all of your qualifications in a professional setting at a single glance. That’s super networking.

Facebook profiles and twitter feeds may also have impact on your job search, since they can allow you to broadcast your needs to a large audience of friends who may be able to help you. They may have a negative impact as well, since some hiring managers have been known to skim Facebook and Twitter profiles as part of their selection process. Just in case, it’s a good idea to make sure your privacy settings are well controlled, so potential employers can only see text and images that cast you in a professional light.

It’s a mistake to conduct your entire job search via the internet and expect positive, immediate results. The most valuable networking happens in real life, and it begins when you pick up the phone and arrange meetings with people who can help you. Don’t overestimate the power of any social networking site, and certainly don’t sit back and expect your profile to find a job for you. In spite of the buzz, LinkedIn usage is by no means universal, and Facebook may be popular, but it’s not where busy professionals spend most of their time.

There’s a chance your profile could harm your prospects, but the dangers of social media, as well as the benefits, may be somewhat overblown. Examining Facebook profiles during the job selection process is a questionable and controversial move that most reputable employers would rather avoid.

Want help with making your social media profile shine? Contact a staffing company in Connecticut at Merritt Staffing for more information.

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