Can your online reputation influence your career? How?
Throughout the United States and Canada, employers have been asking for employees social media passwords. The US Congress blocked an amendment to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) which would have outlawed “employers demanding that prospective employees disclose social media passwords as a condition of employment”.
In Canada, “legislation across the board is more stringent than what’s in place in the U.S”. Canadian job seekers have slightly more legal protection but they still need to be wary. Some jobs offer apps where you can apply though social media sites like LinkedIn which allows potential employers to view your entire profile. This shouldn’t be an issue for most people as LinkedIn accounts are designed for professional networking.
Remember ‘resume banks’ like monster.ca? Potential employers could search these sites to find their dream candidate. If you aren’t convinced about resume banks, don’t worry – many employers aren’t either. According to Today.com, “employers and recruiters are sifting through the LinkedIn and Twitter pages of prospective job candidates and reaching out to them directly”. Candidates today need to worry about their “de facto resumés” as much as traditional candidates worry about their paper resumes.
Social Media is an essential tool to connect with the job market. The first step is to create a LinkedIn profile. Make sure your profile is more then just a bare bones resume. Connect with others by joining professional groups, follow companies you admire to learn about the industry, and receive updates on job postings. LinkedIn also encourages user to endorse their connections’ skills. Go ahead and endorse your classmate’s presentation skills on that class project, they may endorse your editing in return. Finally, LinkedIn is encouraging users to upload recent work samples. That infographic you made for your last class discussion could be the first step toward your dream job.
You can also use Twitter to connect with job opportunities. Be sure to have a 140 character elevator pitch ready, you never know what might come your way.
In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential that you take advantage of every tool that is available to you. Social media is just one more tool that you can use to reach out to potential employers and form new connections that might land you that dream job. But be careful, social media can be a double-edged sword.
Here are some things to consider for your job hunt:
- Are you findable online? Search your name and explore what you find. If you’re not findable, then you’re not helping yourself. Be sure to cultivate an online presence that best represents your professional interests. If you’re findable online, what do your social media profiles say about you? Make sure you’re not overexposing yourself.
- In addition to social media, creating an e-portfolio will help demonstrate some of your best qualities.
- When you’re using social media, be a productive part of the community and not just someone looking to take. Contribute to discussions and complete as much of your profile as you can, including adding a professional photo to your LinkedIn account.
- While networking on social media can lead to job opportunities, outright asking for a job usually won’t. Leverage connections to find out more information about companies that you would want to work for and that are also hiring.
- LinkedIn has Changed the way That Businesses Hunt Talent | Washington Post (2013)
- Job Hunter Designs Resume to Look Like Kickstarter | Mashable (2013)
- 6 Things to Do Before You Delete Your Facebook Account | Mashable (2013)
- Sure Way To Get Fired: Post ‘I Wish I Could Get Fired Some Days’ On Facebook | Mashable (2013)
- Is Your Social Media Presence Hurting Your Job Search | CIO.com | 2015
- Social Media and the Job Hunt: Squeaky-clean Profiles Need not Apply | Forbes (2012)
- How to Use LinkedIn: 5 Smart Steps to Career Success | Forbes (2014)
- Cyber-vetting: Exploring the Implications of Online Information for Career Capital and Human Capital Decisions | Purdue University (2010)
- Using Social Media in Your Job Search | YouTube (2013)
- Social Media Recruiting: No More Post and Pray, Recuriters Using Social Media to Fill Jobs | The Vancouver Sun (2014)
The Digital Tattoo Project encourages critical discussion on topics surrounding digital citizenship and online identity. There are no correct answers and every person will view these topics from a different perspective. Be sure to complete the previous sections before answering the questions.
- Do you think potential employers judge you based on your digital identity?
- Is it important to cultivate a professional online presence?