Thursday, January 21, 2010

Social networking tools: both a requirement and maybe a pitfall for job seekers


Baseline Magazine has an “Intelligence Slideshow” that maintains that social networking and “broadcasting” sites, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, are becoming the hottest technique in job hunting in a recessionary economy. It's less clear how blogging (on Blogger or Wordpress or personal sites) fits in; but some people can bolst their presence by blogging about relatively narrow professional topics -- even in the arts.

At the same time, Baseline is warning that social networking activities, especially on Facebook, are “haunting” job searches, with a slide show link here.

It’s a little unclear what the “ethics” of looking up job candidates online should be, since it is likely so much of the information is wrong or an employer could easily find the wrong person.

Conventional wisdom has it that the behavior employers worry about the most is the “obvious” no-no’s of underage drinking, drug abuse, and sometimes nudity. But it doesn’t take much thought to realize that employers could wonder if a lot of other “voluntary” or “gratuitous” conduct could be distracting to their businesses if clients find it online, or if it could indicate that a job applicant would eventually compromise the business online after leaving the company by talking about the company online. We’re only beginning to grasp the scope of these potential problems.

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