Jeff Carter
Life is a riddle; unfortunately the answer's are not written here.

Social Media: Is It A Job Seekers Best Friend?

As a senior public relations major getting ready to graduate in May I constantly hear about the positives and negatives of Social Media. I have heard many stories how social media sites have either helped someone get their job or how it has cost someone an opportunity for a job.

I know it is hard to fathom how anything from the internet could ever have a negative effect on someone’s life. With the ever growing popularity of social media it has become easier for businesses to check out the job seeker’s life outside of the office. This could potentially be where you win or lose that job you want.

First let’s look at some of the negative things about social media when it comes to looking for a job. Rachel Zupek, a writer for careerbuilder.com, wrote an article discussing the many pitfalls of social media. She listed two very key examples where a person lost their job all because of what they posted on twitter and facebook.

The first example was of a guy on twitter who posted this about his new job offer; “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” What he did not anticipate was someone from the company seeing his post and responding with this “Who is the hiring manager, I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.” It’s probably safe to say he did not get the job.

A similar example was given from facebook. A girl who was bored with her job thought she would let her friends on facebook know by posting it on her page. The next day when she arrived for work she was dismissed from her duties with company with a very short letter. This letter read “Following your comments made on Facebook about your job and the company we feel it is better that, as you are not happy and do not enjoy your work we end your employment with Ivell Marketing & Logistics with immediate effect.”

Rachel then goes on in her article to give these helpful hints titled “Social networking dont’s.”

1) Don’t announce interviews, raises, or new jobs

2) Don’t mouth your current or former employer

3) Don’t mention your job search if you’re still employed.

With that, let’s move on to the positives social networking can do for job seekers. There have been multiple people over the past year or so who got their job by way of site such as twitter and LinkedIn. Dan Schawbel wrote 7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media. In this post he gave many helpful tips, but the one that stuck out to me was about twitter. Dan pointed out that while your bio on twitter is limited, other sites are not. He recommends adding a link to your bio on twitter that will lead to your blog or LinkedIn profile.

On Careerenlightenment.net, a post was submitted by Joshua Waldman concerning an Interview with a Successful Social Media Job Seeker. Danny, the recent job seeker, explains how in 2 months he was able to find a job through the use of social media. Below is the interview that Joshua conducted with Danny.

Hopefully this has been helpful and informative to all the potential job seekers out there.

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9 Responses to “Social Media: Is It A Job Seekers Best Friend?”

  1. Enjoyed this post. I liked how you touched on both the positives and the negatives of social networking when it comes to job seekers. You gave good examples and sources for each perspective. I am also graduating in May and am currently looking for employment. It is interesting how social media has become such an integral part in the job search process. I really enjoyed the video you embedded in this post as well. It gave a positive look as to how social media is useful in finding a job and if used the right way, can be one of the best tools in a job search process.

  2. This was an excellent post that showed how important it is for graduates and job-seekers to be aware of the pros and cons of social media. I use Twitter, Facebook, and have my blog that is strictly for class, but I have recently gone through my Facebook and Twitter settings and made sure nothing inappropriate or silly is on them. The thing about the Internet is that is holds things forever, and it is virtually impossible to erase your mistakes! So employees need to make sure they are making wise decisions about what information they are sharing to the world! Social media seems to have more positives than negatives and this blog was clear in pointing them out! Thanks Jeff.

  3. Hey Jeff! I thought your post was really informative. I liked the real life examples you used about how Twitter and Facebook can cost you a job. I think that today we have to be so careful about what we write on our Facebook statuses and how we comment on our friends’ walls and pictures. It’s frightening to know that we put so much information out there and we really can’t control who will see that information. I thought that Rachel’s three tips were really helpful and I’ll make sure to keep them in mind when I’m using social networking sites.

  4. Awesome post and video. Lots of good information and an important topic that needs to be discussed. It can be scary at time reading things like this for us PR majors because we are so heavily involved and present on the internet. It is necessary for us, but also a place to be careful what you say. Best recommendation another PR pro gave me was to “not get on the internet when you in a bad mood, you always want to be friendly”. We can never hear enough of the pros and cons of our potential actions!

  5. Hey Jeff,
    I thought that this was an awesome post. I liked how you touched on both the positive and negatives of social media in regards to job seekers as well as the fact that you used real life examples from both facebook and twitter. I have heard of people being fired or not hired because of photos and other things on social networking sites. I’m in a sorority and our advisors go through our facebook pictures and we can be fined if they are inappropriate. I loved your advice about not signing onto these sites when you are in a bad mood.
    -Meghan

  6. Great post! Definitely some crazy stories about the pitfalls of social media. I would be mortified if that happened to me. fortunately I try and stay away from statuses and things along that line and also edit my privacy settings, which may not be 100% fool-proof. The tip about linking your twitter to a blog or linkedin account sounds like a really good idea. Espcially since my blog and linkedin profiles are definitely “G” rated and mostly related to PR. unfortunately I am not sure about how to take full advantage of LinkedIn yet. Hopefully one day I will get the hang of it. It did take me a while to get used to blogging as well.

  7. It is crazy to know that social networking has gotten to the point where it is affecting people’s personal life. I heard of a story that a woman called out of work because she was “sick” and the next day her Facebook had pictures of her from the day she took off drinking and partying; she lost her job for lying. I feel that your social networking sites need to stay separate from your work. So it is important no to bad mouth your job or co-workers and to project yourself in a positive light. On a personal note, when I got hired a my job they searched me on Facebook before interviewing me; I am thankful that my page was appropriate. It amazes me what college students put out on their sites, it makes me concerned for their professional careers.They need to take the advice from your post.

  8. […] Social Media: Is it a Job Seekers Best Friend? by Jeff Carter: It is crazy to know that social networking has gotten to the point where it is affecting people’s personal life. I heard of a story that a woman called out of work because she was “sick” and the next day her Facebook had pictures of her from the day she took off drinking and partying; she lost her job for lying. I feel that your social networking sites need to stay separate from your work. So it is important no to bad mouth your job or co-workers and to project yourself in a positive light. On a personal note, when I got hired at my job they searched me on Facebook before interviewing me; I am thankful that my page was appropriate. It amazes me what college students put out on their sites, it makes me concerned for their professional careers. They need to take the advice from your post. […]

  9. […] Social Media: Is it a Job Seekers Best Friend? by Jeff Carter: It is crazy to know that social networking has gotten to the point where it is affecting people’s personal life. I heard of a story that a woman called out of work because she was “sick” and the next day her Facebook had pictures of her from the day she took off drinking and partying; she lost her job for lying. I feel that your social networking sites need to stay separate from your work. So it is important no to bad mouth your job or co-workers and to project yourself in a positive light. On a personal note, when I got hired at my job they searched me on Facebook before interviewing me; I am thankful that my page was appropriate. It amazes me what college students put out on their sites, it makes me concerned for their professional careers. They need to take the advice from your post. […]


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