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January 9, 2013

Social Networking and Job Hunt

In today’s digital world, there is hardly any information that is not available on the web. When we search for something through search engines such as Google, we get a number of results. Some of it may be irrelevant, incorrect or outdated, but in most of the cases, the desired information can be found. In fact, some associated information may also be available.

Most of us are members of some professional and/or social networking sites where we post details about ourselves. Infact, our online activity amalgamates into a virtual personality for us. Some of us even have personal web pages such as a blog. Thus, often without his realizing it, much of an individual’s personal and professional lives are available online.  There are good and bad sides to social networking – and it affects everything we do, including looking for a job.

Job Portals

Suppose you are looking for a job. The first thing to do would be to create an account in all leading job portals. Make sure your resume is updated and correct. Use key words that describe you in the best and most comprehensive way. Provide contact details which you use regularly, such as your present cell phone number, present residential address (not your permanent one if it is different), etc. You may also create an e-mail id specially for the purpose of job search, but be sure to check it regularly.

It is a popular belief that when someone is active on a job portal site, he is seriously looking for an opportunity. So, update your details regularly, so that your profile shows up everytime someone looks for a person matching your skill set.

At regular intervals, you can also browse through the various jobs posted in these portals to find one that suits you.

Professional Networking

Join some professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com, ApnaCircle.com, etc where you can connect with your seniors, juniors from school and college. Join micro groups within the site where you get updates to the latest discussions. Share your ideas at times. Thus, you can interact and connect with some fellow professionals in the same field as yours, as well as those with common interests.

Suppose you wish to work with a particular organization. You can contact the present employees of this organization through professional networking sites and find out if there is any vacancy that suits your profile. You may even chance upon a member of the HR team of that organization, who would be able to guide you. He may also store your details for suitable opportunities that may arise in future.

You may also search for suitable job opportunities that are posted by employers on networking sites.

When you are contacted by a potential employer, you can sieve out some employees (both ex and present) of that organization who are also members of the professional networking site. You can learn about the company, ongoing and completed projects, employee concerns, etc just by interacting with few of them. Of course, “googling” about the company would give you a fair overview, which you must have before appearing for an interview. But you would get first hand facts from the people who are presently associated or have worked with the company; which would help you to decide whether to take up the job if you are offered a position. 

Social Networking

Similarly, on social networking profiles, you can be “friends” with alumni, teachers and colleagues other than your usual friends. Usually, social networking sites give you the option to categorize friends as per your association with them, such as “close friends”, “acquaintances”, “office people”, etc. Make full use of this facility and privacy settings of each of your updates – always regulate who may be allowed to see anything you post. 

So when you are looking for a job, get in touch with people working in the same industry and share with them that you are looking for an opportunity.  Someone may be able to help, you never know!

Things to be careful about

The flipside of having your details online is that once you are shortlisted for a position, your potential employer would also “look you up”, mainly to ensure that the information provided by you is correct. An employee may be allocated just the responsibility of finding out details about all shortlisted candidates before making the final offer. Your online persona is actually a reflection of the real you, and it also conveys what others think of you. So, if your Facebook, Orkut, Twitter or any other profile portrays anything that is not suitable for the job, you would lose a few points. For example, if you come across as a hardcore party animal, and your potential position requires you to be at work early in the morning, the employer would think twice before choosing you. You may harbor opinions about many things, but be careful about how much you share on online media – harsh opinions may portray wrong impressions about you.

For the employer

Social networking is no longer a medium to stay in touch with friends – it has become a tool for marketing. Every popular brand has a presence on social media such as Facebook and Twitter other than their own websites.   It is nowadays essential for companies to have profiles on social media, and keep posting updates. Participation from non employees should also be encouraged. Thus, the reach of the company increases manifold – word of mouth spreads like wild fire. It makes it easier for an individual to know about the company, including latest achievements or milestones. For example, a new application launched by a mobile manufacturing company would gain publicity on such social media platforms; a social welfare organization can seek more volunteers and also raise funds through sheer publicity. Photographs of festivals, birthday celebrations or annual day, etc create an impression of an employee friendly company. This in turn, encourages a potential candidate to take up a job with the organization.

Would one still think social networking is a waste of time?  

Tags : Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Publicity, Marketing, Image

About Anupama

A Transport Planner and Architect, Anupama has been blogging for about six years now. She has taken up professional content writing for the last two years, and can always be contacted for any assignments or queries. Her strength is original presentation of any topic.