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The world continues to evolve and the rules dictating employment change with it. In the last decade, employers have changed the way they find and screen potential employees. Ten to fifteen years ago, a phone number was the standard contact information that a company required from applicants. These days your e-mail address is your main point of contact. Not only do employers communicate with candidates via the Internet, but they also use it to research all job candidates. According to careerbuilder.com, 70 percent of employers have hired or rejected a potential candidate because of their social network profiles.
Keep Your Profile Tame
Employers are always seeking ways to make their company more efficient and profitable. This includes hiring the best possible workers. Companies will use all the resources at their disposal to determine a person’s suitability. One of these resources is the Internet and access to candidates’ social networking profiles. Do not say or post anything on your profile that you would not be comfortable discussing with an employer. Avoid photos showing drinking, and definitely avoid photos of drug use.
Not all social networking sites are equal when it comes to getting your name out there for a job. LinkedIn, however, bills itself as the 'world's largest professional network' and lives up to the name.Tweet This
Private or Public?
If you don’t want to censor your profiles, you can choose to keep them private. For LinkedIn, however, you should undoubtedly keep it public, as this is how employers can read your resume and get in contact with you. Twitter and Facebook are different concerns when seeking a job. These are not professional networking sites and are more for personal use. This means that you can choose to keep them private and limit access to your friends/followers. If you do not do this, remember that employers can see your posts and tweets and keep the profile tame.
Networking through Friends
Many people have hundreds of friends on Facebook and thousands of followers on Twitter. These are valuable resources when searching for a job. Look through your list of social networking contacts and see if anyone works at a company that interests you. If you find someone who does, send them a message asking to help get you a foot in the door. These people are your friends and should be interested in aiding you in your job search.
Using Relevant Social Networking to Brand Yourself
Not all social networking sites are equal when it comes to getting your name out there for a job. Facebook is primarily a way to lose a job, rather than find one, as employers generally use Facebook to find out whether or not to hire the individual. LinkedIn, however, bills itself as the ‘world’s largest professional network’ and lives up to the name. Creating a profile on the web site is akin to a resume, with your employment history and references included. Simply making a profile and waiting for employers to find you is not enough though. LinkedIn’s best feature is its jobs section, where employers post openings. Actively search this section daily and apply to all jobs that interest you. Make sure, however, that your skill sets match the job as a mismatch looks very unprofessional.
Another good tool for finding employment through social networking is Twitter, believe it or not. Twitter allows you to bypass the red tape behind the hiring process and speak directly to hiring managers. Do some research and find Twitter for hiring managers or high-level members of companies that interest you. Twitter alone will not do the trick, as 140 characters are not enough to convey your skills. Send them a tweet with a short message showing your interest in the company and a link to your LinkedIn profile, blog, or resume.