Social media

Social media have quickly become important recruitment tools for businesses of all sizes. According to PR Newswire, research has shown that 86% of recruiters use sites like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace to learn about job applicants, and that 44% of applicants are rejected based on information found on their pages.

A personal page on a social media site is a window on your world, so consider how you use it wisely. The traces of your activities there create a portrait that can be seen by anyone who wants to know more about you.

Never believe that your page is off limits to others simply because you have a password and privacy settings. There are still various ways for people to access your profile, even if they aren’t on your friends list. Remember as well that information you delete on your page will always remain on the servers. There’s an old proverb: “Words fly, writing remains.” Search engines will also find pictures that you post if you don’t select the right privacy settings.

There’s no point in keeping several different profiles. It’s better to have just one that you can update regularly than to have three badly managed ones that create a negative image instead of making you look good.

How do I create a great profile?

Create your online identity carefully by wisely selecting the pictures, Web links, friends and information you display. Here are a few tips:

  • Your profile picture should be professional, clear and of good quality, and focused on your face. If your clothing is clearly visible, make sure that it is appropriate.
  • Keep out of debates on society, politics and religion to avoid any negative consequences. Future employers do not need to know your opinions on any of these topics.
  • Choose your friends with care.
  • Your private life should remain private.
  • Don’t provide family information or indicate your sexual orientation.
  • If you want to dress up your page, information on your free-time interests like sports, music and the arts are all excellent ideas, but always consider carefully what you add.
  • Be vigilant. Check your digital reputation on a regular basis and view any pages that mention you. A Google alert for your name is a great way to do this.
  • Don’t “friend” several competing companies. Remember that they may visit your page. Alerts are a better option.

Discretion should be your mantra when it comes to your digital identity. Remember that if recruiters see your profile before they meet you, you’ll have already made your first impression!

Making the most of your job hunt

Social media can help you find employment offers or useful information that will make job hunting easier. Here are some of the more interesting social media options you can use:

Linkedin is a network specially designed for businesses, executives and professionals. It has a section for job offers, which you can review in detail simply by registering. This service is free.

Linkedin members can list their skills on a personal page that also displays their current jobs, relations with other organizations, career path, and more. It is particularly effective for targeted job.

Many organizations, recruiters and businesses have created Facebook business pages. Businesses use them to promote their products and services, as well as publish job offers to recruit new employees.

Many companies also use Twitter for recruitment purposes.  They display job offers on their pages (also called twitter feeds) in the form of tweets, which you can search for using keywords. You can subscribe to the twitter feed of any business that interests you.

Myspace is the most important social network for the entertainment world and its fans. Surprisingly, many businesses, including some very traditional ones, have also opened Myspace pages. Why? Their executives are straying off the beaten path to attract employees from the new generation.

All of these networks can give you a lot of information on companies, but the best way to learn about them is still to visit their Web sites.

While social networks are a great way to find that ideal job, don’t forget about traditional information sources, informal meetings and human contact, which can always have positive results. Use your favourite tools wisely, and plan your days to optimize your chances of getting an interview.

Job hunting requires a full-time structured approach. Don’t leave anything to chance. Keep your resume up to date, take control of your job search, and succeed in your job interviews. The reward for your efforts will be a job that is right for you.

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