The world we live in has changed …

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           Jane Harvey

Job seekers need to be more savvy and careful than ever when it comes to social media. Gone are the days of turning up for an interview in your Sunday best, providing details of a couple of referees who would be sure to sing your praises and then turning up to your new job the following Monday!

Social media can both advance and hinder your career depending on how you use it. As the Internet and social media grow increasingly important, particularly in business, most future employers and recruiters explore candidate’s social media profiles including Facebook before making hiring decisions.

 And this is the very reason you need to be extra careful with how you use social media, how you portray yourself in this medium and how you set up your privacy. After all, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to provide an unflattering social media image to future employers.

So, before you apply for your next job, take a good look at your online presence in some of the following ways:

Google yourself

Yes, this is the first thing anyone will do to see if you are who you say you are! Search your name and see what comes up? If there is something there that you would not be comfortable with a future employer seeing … take it down or get in touch with whoever published it and request that they remove it. This is not always possible and some things will remain for a very long time … so think before you post!

Check your privacy settings

Most people think that their privacy settings are sufficient and only their chosen ‘friends’ can see what they post… but in actual fact most people allow friends of friends to view certain content and it just goes on from there. If you go into Facebook and in your profile click “view as public” you will get a better understanding of what anyone in the world can see – including a future employer. If you can see too much … change your settings and get rid of anything that may cause damage to your professional image.

Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date

LinkedIn is one of the most important tools you can utilise as a job seeker or even as an employer. Often referred to as a professional Facebook, LinkedIn is your opportunity to get noticed and to stand out from the crowd, so make it work! Make sure your content is accurate and informative and that you include a snippet from your past few roles on the cover page. Make sure you keep it up to date and most importantly, include a professional and current photo, not one of you and your children or partner or best friend on a park bench or in a pub. Keep it up to date! If you don’t have it, then get it! If you are going for an interview, look at the profiles of the people interviewing you, it will show you are interested and doing research into them and their business.

 In all honesty, prevention is better than trying to fix social media disasters. Everybody has a life outside of work but photos of partying hard, can and will tarnish your professional image. If you must post, make sure your pictures are private. Future employers and recruiters do not need to see them.

Lastly, limit your work related comments on social media such as Facebook, particularly anything that may be seen as derogatory, and limit your social related comments on mediums such as LinkedIn – they are very different and you need to draw a very distinctive line between them. Open your LinkedIn profile so that almost anyone can access it, and your Facebook, Twitter etc. so that almost no-one can, and you should be on your way to that great new role without the worry of skeletons in the closet!

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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The Future of Social Media for Business in 2013

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The telltale signs of another year drawing to a close are here – there’s glittering mountains of tinsel draped around the office, your co-workers are not-so-subtly pressing you for hints about Secret Santa gift ideas and retail workers have the first signs of a slow descent into madness in their eyes, brought on by Michael Bublé’s Christmas album being played steadily on repeat.

XmasI haven’t slept in 72 hours because I can’t get the words to ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ out of my head! Awesome!’

So what does next year hold for business in terms of social media? It’s been fascinating to watch it develop over the past year, and it continues to expand and evolve exponentially in short periods of time. Wishes and predictions included, here is just a tiny portion of the developments we can expect next year –

MS Outlook 2013 Will Offer One-Click LinkedIn and Facebook Integration

The new version of Microsoft Outlook, slated for release to the general public in the first quarter of 2013, will include a revamped LinkedIn and Facebook Social Connector which will allow the user to simply sign in once using their login details, with no additional download required for Outlook to sync with LinkedIn or Facebook. New features and previous ones include:

  • When a contact card is displayed, it will include information extracted from LinkedIn and FB (subject to the individuals privacy settings).
  • An add button displayed next to any email sender which allows you to easily invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • The latest activity of anyone who emails you and is a connection will be displayed at the bottom of their emails to you.

Emails are Becoming Obsolete

As social media continues to grow, it continues to change the way we approach interaction with each other – this is also true in a business capacity, rendering emails a backdated form of communication. So in order to keep up with these changing dynamics, companies may be inclined to follow Atos CEO Thierry Breton’s 2011 idea of making email obsolete by issuing a memorandum that discouraged the sending and receiving of internal emails. With an abundance of different ways to converse (Twitter, Sharepoint2013, LinkedIn) and share information (Dropbox, Wikis) available at the moment, there’s no better time to test what works best for you and your company.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Social Media and Job Seeking

Job seeking prior to the Internet. I can only imagine what a bleak time it was for humanity – akin to the dark ages perhaps. I have images of street urchins with black coal stained faces going door to door in search of employment, desperately trying to earn enough shillings to support their stricken families. But then again, I’m a Gen Y’er and since my first job, I’ve had sites such as Seek and Career One to simplify the process.

These sites mean a job seeker can browse hundreds of available jobs, find the perfect job for them and apply for it, all in a matter of minutes (depending on how fussy you are). Technology is a blessing for job seekers, however it is definitely a double-edged sword.

While job boards and networks like LinkedIn offer effective tools to find jobs and distribute resumes, people must remain conscious of the fact that their personal lives are also available to potential employers, should the employers choose to search for them. And that’s how simple it is – type in a name, click search and anything from personal images to videos and conversations are presented to anyone who cares to look for them. Thank God for privacy options. However some people just plain forget the basic things like ‘don’t make those pictures of you passed out in a bear suit available to the public’ or ‘don’t add your boss on Facebook’, resulting in situations such as this:
But how far do employers have a right to go? Is it acceptable for them to seek out your personal profiles? Is it acceptable for them to ask you for your login and password so they can enter your accounts themselves? A company needs to know what sort of person they’re going to employ, but not at the expense of individuals right to privacy. But with social media, privacy is becoming more and more ambiguous. It’s a wonderful tool, useful in so many different ways, but people need to bear in mind during their use of it that their personal information is about to be projected into the Internet ether and that it will be available for access to millions of people and that, for the most part, your privacy is controlled by you.

Are you a recruiter or responsible for hiring decisions? What do you think? This is an open debate – do any job seekers out there have experiences they want to share?