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Social Networks and job searching
More and more offers of employment and offers of second interviews are being retracted as employers can informally ‘reference’ you by searching through your social network ‘footprint’. In a recent study of 961 HR Managers it was found that a third searched for information on prospective employees on Facebook, MySpace and the like.
The famous example from a couple of years back was the retraction of a job offer for a high flying city lawyer who boasted on his ‘blog’ that he did nothing at his employer but shop on the internet, pick up a six figure salary and regularly partake in recreational pharmaceuticals!
With that story in mind before you start your job search you might want to clear anything that doesn’t show you to be a thoroughly decent upstanding member of the community! This is particularly important if you have an unusual name as with one quick Google or Yoname search they could easily discover amazing detail of your lifestyle, behaviour and beliefs.
Protect your image by following these simple tips:
- Be careful. Derogatory comments, revealing or risqué photos, foul language and lewd jokes all will be viewed as a reflection of your character.
- Be prepared. Check your profile regularly to see what comments have been posted. Use a search engine to look for online records of yourself to see what is out there about you. If you find information you feel could be detrimental to your candidacy or career, see about getting it removed -- and make sure you have an answer ready to counter or explain "digital dirt."
- Be discreet. To save yourself a lot of worry, restrict access to your account. If your network offers the option, consider setting your profile to "private," so that it is viewable only by friends of your choosing.
Make sure you are aware, however, that you don't post anything on your "friends" sites you wouldn't want a prospective employer to see. Just because your page is private doesn’t mean that theirs is. Your ‘profile picture’ is also accessible, regardless of whether you have chosen to make your account private, so choose your picture carefully. This doesn’t mean that you have to choose a sterile passport photo but make sure that you choose a photo that isn’t provocative, or drunken!
Remember, companies do not admit to searching out details of potential employees as part of their recruitment procedure – but, as this recent survey shows, be warned, THEY DO!
There are many websites through Google you can reach to check your social media presence online. You can also pay particular companies to help clean up / tidy your social media footprint.
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