Social Media and Your Job Search

This is a reposting of a topic from another blog that I wrote:

Who knew that social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter would become a source of character references? While access to such information is hotly debated, there are some things that you, as a job seeker, should keep in mind:

1. Keep politics out of it. Expressing a negative or hostile point of view about one or more political parties or hot button issues can have a negative effect on your chances of securing a job. Why? Because your point of view may offend a customer or the hiring manager.

2. Watch your language. A hiring manager once told me that if people use certain offensive language, they assume that the person does not have the capacity to express themselves professionally. The use of profanity by you or by any person who can write on your wall can cost you a job opportunity.

3. Make sure your photo is "G" rated. If a picture is worth a thousand words, just think about what you are saying when you are hoisting a beer bottle, making offensive gestures or showing an extreme emotion such as anger.

4. Tell the truth. Padding your bio with skills and abilities that you don't have, even if made in jest, raises suspicion and can decrease your ability to secure a job.

5. "Likes" can lead to missed job opportunities. Endorsing products that you like such as household consumables generally isn't an issue (unless you want a job with their competitor), but liking a quote from someone such as Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden or any despot is likely to raise some concerns.

6. Practice good grammar and use spellcheck. If UC somethin' likes dis, U can B shur that its gonna annoy someone. B4 U shortccut with QT text like this, take uno momento to think how the bozzman is gunna react 2 it, LOL. (all misspellings intentional)

If you feel like these steps restrict your right to free speech, consider how what is said can affect your ability to get a job. If an employer asks if he or she can review your Facebook page, you do have the right to refuse, but there could be consequences for that refusal.

Remember that social media can also help you find a great job. By posting your knowledge, skills and abilities and gaining endorsements from those in your social circle, employers can gain a better sense of who you are and how your experience will be of benefit to the company.

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