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Is Your Networking Helping or Hurting?

April 24th, 2012

Today’s job-seekers face a rather unique challenge that people in the market for a job in days past never had to worry about. Social media. It can work in your favor at times, and can really help you find the job you want and need, if you play your cards right. However, if you don’t exercise a great deal of caution and restraint, social media can also serve as a hindrance to your job search efforts.

Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your social networking as you search for a job.

Conduct Yourself in a Professional Manner at All Times

Believe it or not, the way you conduct yourself and the language you use in your social networking reflects upon your “hirability” in a really big way. Using inappropriate words that granny would grab the soap over is not the way to make it into the hearts and on to the payrolls of potential employers with discerning hiring practices. It doesn’t always work to your detriment, but unsavory word selection can really paint you in a negative light with potential employers.

Consider a Private and Public Account

You probably like the idea of being able to connect with old friends, make plans and sort of hang- out virtually, no matter how many actual miles divide you. But you don’t want the comments of your old frat buddies, about your college days and ways, derail your attempts to land a respectable job in today’s competitive job market. You can keep your private business with old and new friends private while still showing off your skills and talents in the field in a completely professional manner.

But don’t overly cling to the promise of privacy. Anything that is said and done online has the potential to come back and bite you – when you least expect it. The best rule of thumb is that if you don’t want a future potential employer to read something about you, don’t put it out there. The Internet is a great big giant bell that can never be truly unrung.

Exercise Restraint

This is something that will earn the respect of potential employers in a really big way. They want to know that they’re hiring someone who is capable of discretion, so be prudent in your actions and attitudes on the Internet.

It’s not that employers don’t want or expect you to have a life – or fun. But, they don’t want someone who represents their business to let all their fun hang out on the front page of Facebook or the top trends on Twitter.

These tips might not be earth-shattering or world-altering, but they might just help you land the job you’re looking for without facing the social media blowback that many people in the job market face today.

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