Social Media: Choosing, Using, and Confusing

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**I am a member of the Career Collective, a group of resume writers and career coaches. Each month, all members discuss a certain topic. This month, we are talking about Social Media and our careers. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective. You can also view the other member’s interesting posts at the end of the article.

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Today it seems that everyone from your 10-year-old nephew to your Great Grandmother Mildred has at least a Facebook account filled to the brim with information that you may or may not want them, or other people from divulging – everyone, which includes the same hiring manager you sent your last resume to. Now it’s just much easier for prospective employers to Google your name and find out information about you, your family and your habits. So, what’s the best site and the best methods to keep your personal information private?

With the vast resources of personal data so readily available through social networking sites, it is very tempting for recruiters, HR managers and even yourself, to use these methods to screen prospective employees or to just find out information about an old friend. Microsoft recently released a commissioned study that shows 79% of people will look at an applicants’ online profile. Reviewing a candidates social networking site can help companies know more about how those candidates handle themselves, both personally and professionally. It can also provide information that is illegal to ask during interviews.

It’s true that in today’s world you have to be online in order to get noticed, but what sites are right for keeping your personal information private, while still giving you a measure of freedom online? The most well known sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Myspace all have their ups and downs. Myspace has virtually vanished as a peer-to-peer social media information site in favor of it’s traditional focus as being a music house for artist. Facebook has it’s many detractors thanks to gaping security holes and the ability to gleam information quickly and easily, even after that information has been deleted. Twitter doesn’t really carry the same weight as the other sites, it’s good for quick burst of information but you cannot really customize it in order to share professional information. LinkedIn is the site that many professionals think of when they are looking for another job. People post links to jobs, information about their companies and things they are looking for. If you stay diligent and become friends with people in your industry, there is no way that LinkedIn would not benefit you.

It also presents an ethical conundrum. What if an HR manager stumbles upon your Facebook page with pictures from a wild party or of your growing baby belly? Would they be more or less inclined to hire you based on what they determine online? According to Microsoft’s study, 84% believe that it is OK to use social media to gather information about a candidate.

Do you know what that means? It means you have to stay up on what you have posted online and watch anything that could prevent you from finding that job. Make sure that you pick the right social media site and use it properly. In the right hands social media can be a very powerful thing, but it can also prevent you from gaining what you want.

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Read on for more great Career Collective articles:

Make Your Career More Social: Show Up and Engage, @WalterAkana, #careercollective

You 2.0: The Brave New World of Social Media and Online Job Searches, @dawnrasmussen #careercollective

How to Get a New Job Using Social Media, @DebraWheatman #careercollective

Social Media: Choosing, Using, and Confusing, @ErinKennedyCPRW #careercollective

How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search, @heatherhuhman #careercollective

Updating: A Social Media Strategy For Job Search, @TimsStrategy #careercollective

Your Career Needs Social Media – Get Started, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland #careercollective

We Get By With a Little Recs from Our Friends, @chandlee #careercollective

Expat Careers & Social Media: Social Media is Potentially 6 Times more Influential than a CV or Resume, @expatcoachmegan #careercollective

Social-Media Tools and Resources to Maximize Your Personalized Job Search, @KatCareerGal #careercollective

Job Search and Social Media: A Collective Approach, @careersherpa #careercollective

How Having Your Own Website Helps You, @keppie_careers #careercollective

Social Media: So what’s the point?, @DawnBugni #CareerCollective

Tools that change your world, @WorkWithIllness #CareerCollective

HOW TO: Meet People IRL via LinkedIn, @AvidCareerist #CareerCollective

Effective Web 2.0 Job Search: Top 5 Secrets, @resumeservice #CareerCollective

Jumping Into the Social Media Sea @ValueIntoWords #CareerCollective

Sink or Swim in Social Media, @KCCareerCoach #CareerCollective

Social Media Primer for Job Seekers, @LaurieBerenson #CareerCollective





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Written by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

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