In the real world, an individual can easily separate his/her personal dealings with the professional world. But in the virtual world where information is so easy to search and oftentimes readily available, hiding one's identity is not so easy.
With the proliferation of social networking sites such as Friendster, Multiply, Facebook, etc. that have grown so much popularity especially with the young generation, almost everyone have an online profile that can be viewed by everybody...your family, friends, enemies and yes even potential and present employers. Now the question is...is your online profile something that you will be proud to show to your employer?
Getting a job is probably the farthest thing on your mind when you created an online profile but it is a fact that more and more employers are using the internet in checking the background of a potential employee. So that Friendster photo or Mutiply blog post of yours can indeed ruin your chance of being hired. Also regular workers face the risk of being fired by improperly using these social networking sites.
Of course there are advantages as well. Wise professionals know that social networking sites are a cool way to expand networks, promote skills and talents, improve their careers, and get a job. Here are some tips:
Your information should be consistent. The information in your profile in different social networking sites that shows your name and picture must be consistent and not give viewers different impressions of your personality. Ensure that the profile you create shows that you are a decent and dependable individual.
Take advantage of the About You section. Viewers including potential employers are sure to notice whatever it is you put in the space that describes yourself. If you are looking for a job, mentioning your work experiences, strengths, and achievements in this section would be beneficial.
Use the venue to promote your skills. If you have talents/skills, use the website to create an online portfolio that would be helpful in your career.
Put relevant keywords in the "Tags" section. Put keywords that are related to your job or skills to help employers and search engines search your profile.
Do not post any obscene/improper pictures. It is safe to put your photos that you know will not get an approval from your grandmother in a private photo folder or better yet, do not post them at all. Examples are your pictures in lewd clothing or in a drinking session as not only your grandmother will frown from these pictures but future employers as well.
Do not reveal you are a mischievous employee. Be careful about making a blog post about your job especially if it is something negative like how much you hate you job or disclose secrets about how you used company time for sleeping or taking a sick leave when you really went to another office to apply for a new job.
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