Career experts recommend that job seekers use social media to market themselves. Private people may dismiss social media because the idea of anyone seeing their pictures and information is disturbing. Unfortunately, no one can ignore social media because many employers are checking sites for information on candidates. You want to make sure you distinguish yourself from others who share your name. It doesn’t mean you have to sign up on every sight, but you should choose one or two sites that allow you to create a professional profile.
LinkedIn is probably the best social media site for job-seekers. The focus will be on your professional and academic accomplishments, not on your personal life. LinkedIn allows you to get recommended from other members who have worked or who currently work with you. You can also show the address of your LinkedIn profile on your resume. If you’re still concerned about privacy, you can choose not to show your public profile and what information is shown if you do allow others to see your profile.
Facebook isn’t just for college students anymore. Many older professionals and businesses are setting up accounts. The problem is that when friends and family know you have a Facebook account, it will become personal and may not be useful in your job search. Luckily, you can hide your profile from those you haven’t friended so potential employers don’t see your personal profile. I don’t have a Facebook account myself, but a lot of people with my first and last name do. Since I’m a very private person and want to maintain a good (or non-existent) online reputation, this is very worrisome. With millions of people using social networking sites, chances are that someone with your name also has an account. You may want to create an account to distinguish yourself from others with the same name.
Twitter can be a great way to connect with recruiters and get updates from career experts. I joined Twitter to promote my writing on HubPages, and have really enjoyed getting updates from all my favorite websites and blogs. If you join Twitter, a few accounts to follow for great career and job-search advice : Brazen Careerist, CollegeCareer1, CollegeRecruiter (EntryLevelJob) , Careerealism, CareerLeak, ResumeQueen, CareerBuilder, Indeed, AfterCollege, and InternQueen. You should also identify industry-related publications and follow them for updates about your field.
Social networking can be a huge advantage for any job seeker, so don’t shy away from these sites out of fear of losing your privacy. Just keep your profiles completely professional and use privacy settings when necessary.