Using Social Media to Leverage Your Career: The Good,The Bad, and The Ugly

These days more job seekers than ever are tapping into their social networks to look for a job.  For many applicants, using social media is an excellent way to land a job or move forward in your career.  However, for some applicants, using social media the wrong way can put a halt on your job search or land you in the boss’ office.  Read on to learn more about the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding the use of social media to leverage your career.

The Good:

More and more recruiters are using sites such as LinkedIn to search for a potential candidate with certain skill sets to fill their positions.  Because of this, make sure you highlight your achievements much like you do on a resume within your LinkedIn profile, rather than just a list of your previous job duties.  LinkedIn is also a great tool for networking purposes.  Do you know of a job opening at a certain company but don’t know anyone who works at that company?  Reach out to your LinkedIn network to see if you have any connections there!  Continue to build your network – friends of friends, professional associations and alumni associations, just to name a few.

The Bad:

Since recruiters are turning to social network sites to scope out potential candidates, make sure your profile image on the social networking sites you use is professional.  It’s also advisable to make sure you set parameters to your privacy controls on your profile itself.  You never know if a picture one of your friends “tagged” you in will be viewed by a hiring manager.

While you’re on the job, be mindful of the time spent on social networking sites.  Workplace productivity can be at an all-time low when you log into your social networking sites on an hourly basis to see what’s new.  Some companies are even blocking certain social networking sites from being accessible via the computers at an office – this doesn’t mean that it’s then ok for you to spend more time on your phone accessing the sites while at work!

The Ugly:

Be careful what you broadcast on your social networking sites.  I once knew an employee who was deemed “Facebook Sarah,” because she posted something on her Facebook account during the workday saying how much she disliked her job and that she was at the mall instead.  Well, her boss just so happened to find out about this post, which was time stamped during work hours and well, you can guess what happened next.  Another example is if you are considering searching for another job while you are currently employed; be careful what you post because you never know who it will get back to.  Don’t criticize your boss or co-workers, use foul language, or post something like “Facebook Sarah” did, or your career may be in jeopardy.

Social networking can be a great way to help you launch or further your career.  Just don’t let your profile and image on a social networking site prevent you from getting – or keeping – your dream job!


Note: This blog post only touches on certain aspects of this topic and is not a comprehensive list. This blog post is an educational and informational resource for job seekers and is not a substitute for working with a resume writer or other professional. See our Terms and Conditions for additional information.

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