If you want a job then watch your “space” and wash your “face”

The rise of social network sites like MySpace and Facebook means that it’s easier than ever before to add and access information about yourself and others using the Internet.

Mark Goode, Group Managing Director of
Inspired Selections advises jobseekers and employers to tread very carefully through the social networking quagmire: “If you are applying for a job consider the information that you have posted online and if you might want a potential employer seeing this.
Likewise, employers should take information on websites with a pinch of salt as often it’s someone’s alter ego and not the real person.”

According to a recent Internet survey 44% of all adult users have added information to the Internet in some form. We are told the TUC also warns that an increasing number of employers plan to review profiles on social networking sites like Facebook when considering candidates for jobs.

Therefore, before you apply for that next job it’s worth reconsidering uploading pictures of you with a traffic cone on your head and a banana in your ear if you don’t want potential employers to see them.

Some organisations now prevent employees from using or even having a profile on a social networking website. One of our clients was recently reported as having banned 32,000 of its employees from accessing Facebook in a move to reduce “time-wasting”. Many of our other clients we know are now following suit.

Mark continues, “Social networking sites are very popular and the best thing to do if you want to avoid unsavoury peeks is to make your profile private, delete it altogether or ensure the information you have will not disadvantage you in any way.

Whilst an employer might not say directly why you weren’t the right person for the job, the fact is, the Internet is another free tool they can use to find out if you are the type of personality you say you are. If you are searching for a job then use social networking websites specifically designed for a more professional profile.

Mark gives the following career advice to employers and job seekers when using social networking sites:

Advertise yourself for hire by all means. If you are looking for a job then politely post your CV on your profile, if their specialist works then state your areas of expertise. However, do not make your profile public, or slag off your current employer and make it obvious you’re looking for a new job. After all why do things online that you wouldn’t do in the real world?

Network to your advantage. Use social networks to keep in touch professionally with people you were at school, college, and university or worked with in the past.

Make your profile private. If you must use the Internet to vent your social spleen, with photographs and videos of outrageous nights out with friends, keep it to yourself. Many social networks have an option to make your profile private, which is a good idea if you want to keep your current job or apply for a new one.

For employers:

Don’t look at social networking negatively, they offer more than an insight into your employees’ lives. You can use MySpace to build a profile for your company

Treat staff with respect. Just as you may research a potential candidate, they may also research you. If an employee leaves your company on a sour note then they may start a blog against you or post comments that could put off a potential new employee.

Don’t believe everything you read. If you come across unsavoury information about someone who has applied for a job, look at it in context. For instance, is the profile still active? Also, if they have all the skills you need, then an interview will allow you to find out what they are really like. Alternatively, use the services of a
recruitment specialist who will have already pre-screened candidates.

Mark concludes, “Don’t allow your online persona to undermine your CV. Employers are entitled to do background research and looking on the Internet gives them extra information that a CV or reference might not. Just be careful what you put out there and employers should be equally as careful of the information they find.”

Mark Goode is the Group Managing Director of Inspired Selections group and is not full of theoretical rhetoric, only practical advice and real solutions – with tangible results. He has been continually helping people for over the last 15 years gain that special edge. For more advice and recruitment tips visit www.Goodeadvice.com for more information on the latest optical jobs call 0121 778 6999 or visit www.inspiredselections.co.uk




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