If you’re looking for a new job, the go-to site isn’t Monster.com or CareerBuilder; it’s LinkedIn. What began as an online network has morphed into a premium job search site. LinkedIn is where savvy job seekers post their resumes and HR directors go in search of people with specific skills.Social media communication concept

According to Forbes columnist Jacquelyn Smith, “Half of all job seekers are active on social networking sites on a daily basis, and more than a third of all employers utilize these sites in their hiring process.”

Job seekers devote considerable time to creating a LinkedIn profile that will attract HR attention. But they may not realize that employers don’t stop at their LinkedIn profile. It is common today for employers to perform comprehensive internet searches on job applicants. Which means they’re going to find the unfiltered divorce rant on your Facebook page or those pictures of you and your buds at a boozy bachelor’s party.

We have come to think of our Facebook pages and Tweets to friends as private, but once posted to the internet they become public. Youthful indiscretions can come back to haunt you! When you apply for a job, you’re trying to present yourself in the best possible light. Unfortunately, social media doesn’t always show us at our best. Something that’s funny between friends on a Facebook wall can be a job killer on the career scene. Applications have been tossed into the round file and jobs have been lost because of items posted on social media.

In her column, Smith reviews the results of a CareerBuilder study asking employers why they use social networks to research candidates. Here’s how job recruiters are using social media:

  • 65% – to evaluate professional presence
  • 51%  – to gauge compatibility with company culture
  • 45% – to learn more about qualifications

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To be continued