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Social Networking sites - good or bad for the job hunter?

 
Bartender
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Looking for a job is as much about a network of people to connect you to your next employer as it is about your qualifications for the job - after all you aren't likely to get a job you don't know about. But there are different ways to 'get connected.' I think there is another topic about large job-hunting boards, so I won't dwell so much there, but I am thinking more on the social networking sites.

There are horror stories about companies finding blogs, Facebook pages, etc... and using that as part of their criteria for hiring candidates. I know a few consultants who were released when they tweeted what town they were visiting each day as part of their job - even though they did not state what they were doing or who they were seeing.

So I am wondering if all the stories are bad? Can a social networking page ever help you out, make you more employable? Or are companies just looking for exclusionary material - reasons to NOT hire you? Would it be better to have zero presence on these networking sites because they can only hurt, or to have a professional appearance with more details than you might get in a resume?
 
Greenhorn
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Hi there Steve,

not much reply on this topic yet...maybe the public loves to expose themselves on public websites nowadays.
Why not, if you have nothing to hide? If you have no one to run for, no skeletons in the closet.
You can just show off all your friends, your hot spots, your great holidays, your success stories. Great marketing at least.

I am sure you have nothing to hide Steve. I advise you to create a public account just to make sure your future employer knows you have nothing to hide. It's just the way it's done nowadays. Don't be a nerd because of not having a facebook/linkedin account.

And, if you do have things to hide, then remember that you can never stay anonimous anyway, someday, somehow someone will recognize you. Perhaps just from the way you write to create sentences, maybe just because of a stupid coindidence.
I believe that someone's past will never be erased and someone will always catch onto you, no matter how many efforts you put in to stay unknown.

Well, I wish you all the best and I hope you are well

xxxx Helena

 
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"Helena of Troy",

Welcome to JavaRanch. Please look carefully at the official naming policy at JavaRanch & reregister yourself with a proper first & last name, with a space between them. Please adhere to official naming policy & help maintain the decorum of the forum. The naming policy can be found at http://www.javaranch.com/name.jsp. You can change your name here.

--Mark
 
Mark Herschberg
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Social networking sites are tools. Like all tools, they can be used for good or evil.

First, remember that anything you put on the internet (or in email) is a) eternal and b) most likely public. With that in mind, ask yourself how you'd feel about doing/saying that in front of your co-workers? Sure, some photos of my Halloween costumes aren't things I'd want wear to work, but I'm also not embarrassed if co-workers do see them.

Second, social networking sites are not networking. Networking is about building relationships. The sites are simply managed electronic connections. They are helpful in two ways. Sites like LinkedIn let you peer into your contact's contacts. This process was traditionally done manually, but it's much more efficient through these sites. They also let you more passively keep in touch with people. Instead of calling up a casual friend you haven't spoken to in 6 months, you can watch an activity/post thread of theirs to keep up with them at your convenience, or send them a quick post/reply which doesn't take as much effort as say a catch up phone call or email.

But remember, connecting to someone on a website isn't a relationship. Who are you more likely to help--your brother-in-law or a guy you met once three years ago who added you on Facebook?

I will say I often update my LinkedIn or Facebook when I'm trying to hire someone. Many others do as well (also twitter). Conversely you can use these sites to reach out to people through your network and solicit them for job opportunities.

--Mark


 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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