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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Social Networking and Your Job Search

According to a recent Boston Business Journal article, the number of companies using social networking sites to screen candidates has doubled in the last year. A CareerBuilder survey of over 2,600 hiring managers found that 45 percent are researching candidates on networking sites and another 11 percent say they plan to start using social networking sites for screening.

Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace are the top sites being screened, but 11 percent of employers are searching blogs and 7 percent are following job applicants’ Twitter postings.

[The survey] says 35 percent of employers decided not to hire someone because of what they found out about them on these sites.

Top reasons for choosing not to hire a candidate based on their social networking content include posting inappropriate photographs, content about them drinking or using drugs, bad-mouthing previous employers or clients and showing poor communication skills

Students should take great care in making sure their personal accounts on social networking sites are set to private and do not contain any pictures and/or postings that they would not want future employers to see.

Job seekers should also consider how they can use social networking sites to make professional connections and promote themselves in a positive light.

In a similar article in the Metro on how social networking can hurt or help careers, Rebekah Hudder, a social media specialist, notes, “Social networking gives you the opportunity to build relationships with people across the globe, 365 days a year […] It opens doors to meeting new people who could be potential clients, referral sources or employers. You can further your career and promote your personal brand recognition.”

Remember . . . you are what you tweet. Be careful and use social networking sites responsibly.

For further reading on your on-line presence and your job search:

"Job seekers need to watch what they tweet." Boston Business Journal. 19 August. 2009
"Link up to get ahead." Metro International. 27 August. 2009
"How law students should use LinkedIn." Lawyerist. 14 April. 2009
"Start a blog, get a job." Lawyerist. 7 July. 2009

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