Benefits & Pitfalls of Social Media for Job Seekers

February 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

Social media has become a huge tool for people of all ages and interests. The first form of social media I can recall using was MySpace, which now I do not even have an existing account. Social media has been a way to reconnect or stay in touch with old friends and family, share pictures and videos, raise money for fundraising, or meet new people. However exciting and great these benefits may be, there are some great pitfalls, especially to those in search of jobs.

I found an article on Mashable: The Social Media Guide called “7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media.” I have included the list Dan Schawbel comprised below.

  1. Conduct a people search instead of a job search. 80% of the jobs out there are not posted. Within this secret there are three steps to searching people for your job search: 1. Identify the top 5 companies you would like to work for 2. Use search engines to track employees that currently work there. 3. Connect with the person directly.
  2. Use attraction-based marketing to get job offers. Brand yourself! The best way to do this is to blog, so write creatively and consistently.
  3. Be proactive on Twitter. Follow recruiters on your account but make sure you have a completed profile first.
  4. Capitalize on LinkedIn. Recruiters are starting to use LinkedIn as their main place for sourcing candidates because it is free and top professionals are on there.
  5. Advertise your brand using AdWords and Facebook Social Ads. These ads are about targeting a specific group that would care about your resume or hiring you.
  6. Construct a video resume and upload it to YouTube. Very few people have created video resumes so you will stand out when a recruiter searches for them.
  7. Subscribe to blogs that have job listings. This will save you hours of searching.

Although social media can be a great tool in your job search as well as in your personal life, it can also be a pitfall in your search for a job. If you are not careful with the content you post on your social media sites, it can come back to bite you. One of the most popular sites, Facebook.com, has great features such as posting many many pictures, which can be harmful to your job search if they are not professionally appropriate.

Careerbuilder.com has a list of Social Media Pitfalls comprised. They also have a list of social media don’ts. Below is what I found helpful on their site.

Terrible Tweets: Even though everyone will have their moments where they hate their job, boss, or salary…it is probably best not to Tweet about those feelings. Employers are increasing their online presence and sharing these feelings with the social media world will most likely not be a career booster.

Facebook Fired: Comments made about your job or boss have been known to get employers dismissed from their job.

Social Networking Don’ts

  1. Don’t announce interviews, raises or new jobs.
  2. Don’t badmouth your current or previous employer.
  3. Don’t mention your job search if you are still employed.

Take advantage of all the social media opportunities out there, but make sure you take caution when using social media. It can either get you the job or cost you the job…you pick.

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9 Comments

  1. ashleyprisfunrenfroe said,

    Social media is taking over for sure! I recently had to attain a public record for a class assingment for which I had to speak to the city code enforcer for. When I went to retrieve the documents he told me that he googled me and looked at my facebook page!!! Not that I had anything too bad on there, but I immediately changed my privacy settings when I got back home. Social media, while it can be helpful, can hurt you. My facebook page is not something that shows off my work ethic to its full extent and I would never want the wrong impression to be put off just because of my facebook page. Keep in mind what you put on the internet for sure…you never know who’s looking!

  2. PRCA 3711 Blog Comments « Public Relations and Me… said,

    […] February 4, 2010 at 7:58 PM (Blog Comments, PRCA 3711) Jessica Cameron […]

  3. stephaniemedlin said,

    Hey there! I have to admit, I caught myself laughing quite a bit while reading this particular blog. The part that I really enjoyed is something I think about and see constantly! The social networking dont’s are very important to notice and adhere to. I can’t explain how many times I see people posting rude remarks and negative comments regarding their job and or employer. Come on people! As advanced as most companies are with social networking and being more technological I don’t understand how people can participate in such behavior. You have just posted something for all the world to see, and yes your employer or future employer just might see it. Keep it clean folks! Thanks for reiterating pertinent information!

  4. My Blog Comments « Stephaniemedlin's Blog said,

  5. Phillip Edwards said,

    Wow Jessica you did a great job on this one. Social media is definitely becoming more popular everyday now. Social media has definitely made an everlasting impact on job markets all over the world. It serves as a vehicle and easy access for employers to get a better look at potential employees. I can speak from experience about how social media has helped my job search because I found my first internship online at University Directories using facebook. But people don’t realize that the things they put on the internet can be seen by just about anybody who wants to. I especially like the terrible tweets tip because i see that go on all the time on my time line. Although its funny at the time companies look at that sort of thing it may cost you a position in their organization.

  6. katiann4710 said,

    Jessica,
    First of all thank you so much for letting me use this post for my “guest blogger.” I thought that this post would really stand out to my readers, especially those reading who are curently job hunting. The tips for getting yourself out there are very helpful, and I totally agree 100%. I think that each pr graduate should have their own blog and be writing in it, so show a possible employer that they have writing abilities, and idea’s that deal with our field of study. I also agree with the fact that too much information can be a pitfall. If content on a page such as, facebook, is inappropriate, don’t make this available for a possible employer to read. The other day when we were talking about internship interviews and you said that you walked into an office of your social media sites posted about, it could have been a horrible experience for something to be pulled up that would in any way hurt your chances of getting the position. Branding is key these days. Thanks for the helpful post!
    -Kati Ann

  7. Comments on Other Blogs « Phillip's Blog said,

  8. kris10ly said,

    Hi Jessica! The 7 secrets from Mashable are great ways to use social media to help you find a job. It is amazing to see the transformation of social media from when it was first introduced up until now. As you said, it started out as a way to reconnect and stay in touch with friends and family. Now, it is widely used for professional networking. The method of job searching has forever changed. With advances in technology continuously changing, who knows what it will be like ten years from now… I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for the great advice!

  9. Blog Comments « Kris10ly's Professional Makeover said,

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