Can Social Networking Sites Get You a Job?

Getting a job is as much about who you know than what you know. Thanks to the proliferation of social networking sites, you don't have to rely on face-to-face networking to meet people who have a lead on a good job. Today, more job seekers are tapping into their network on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to look for work.

Many out-of-work Americans have realized that using social networking sites can help them find their next job. In fact, since the recession LinkedIn - a professional networking site - saw it's traffic increase 174 percent, according to a DMNews report.

"It's harder to find jobs and times are tough," said Matt Hicks, a spokesman for Facebook. "People naturally want to stay in touch with the network not only to find the next job, but even to get advice."

What's more, employers are turning to social networking sites to look for applicants who have the qualifications and skills necessary to fit open positions they may have.

"Not only are employers looking for better candidates, but ones that are well versed in social media and seeking out opportunities," said Sandra Fathi, a social media expert, in a CNNMoney.com report. Fathi added, "These mediums are here to stay."

Before your start using your online social networks to find a job you have to clean up your online persona. Follow these three tips to make sure your profiles don't scare off potential employers:

  • Google Yourself: Use the popular search engine to look up your name. You may want to try a few other search engines too, like Yahoo! and AltaVista. Does anything potentially damaging turn up? If so, consider contacting any sites where you found the information and ask to have it removed.
  • Assess Your Social Networking Site Profiles: Have you posted stories or photographs on sites like Facebook and MySpace that could turn off a prospective employer? Have friends posted any potentially damaging information that could somehow be associated with you? Are you a member of any Facebook groups whose names and activities could be deemed suspect? When in doubt, take it out.
  • Do a Content Inventory of Your Personal Web Site or Blog: Have you written about -- thus sharing with the world -- any topics or experiences that might give a prospective or current employer pause?

Your online network is an important tool in your job-search arsenal. Don't let a bad online profile keep you from getting a job. Military.com's Veterans Career Network can help connect you to other transitioning servicemembers and veterans who can help you find a job or give you job searching advice.

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