Linkedin and Facebook Benefit from Recession But Danger Ahead
One of the beneficiaries of the recession are the word oriented social sites like Linkedin and to a lesser extend Facebook (read what I think about Facebook). According to news.com this weeked, the traffic for Linkedin has grown 22% over December, including a whopping 65% increase in recommendations. Anecdotally this is what I have been seeing on Linkedin, I have been asked on a number of occassions to provide recommendations. On Facebook there has been an increase in the number of links and requests. Indeed most of my colleagues are on Linkedin.
Finding a job through a reference is indeed a good idea (read Guy Kawasaki) however there is a downside to using social tools and that is the HR manager who is interviewing you also is armed for the interview. Just as potential friends can find information about you, so too can prospective employers. Your profile can just as much be a hinderence as a help.
- You need to view your profiles as public commentary about yourself and I include friends with that. Your profile should be viewed in the eyes of people you wish to help you, not from people you like to goof off with.
- Once information is up there it is very difficult to remove thanks to Google Cache and the Wayback machine
- Question everything you want to put up in the context of how can it help you, and how can it hurt you.
- Always assume that your profile is public, even if you set it as private. There are always a way round these.
- Be accurate and honest. It is absolutely fine to put your experience in the best possible light from your perspective as long a it is defendable. For example, I am a keen hiker, but if you can’t answer the last 5 times you hiked and why you like it, then you may get tripped up in an interview.
- Make your profile relevant to the jobs or gigs you are after. If you are in the creative industry, then creative stuff, a sense of humor etc are important. If you are a programmer, a blog about programming and your skill is vital.
- Make sure your Job experience is complete and relevant. Missing gaps, just like your resume are questions. What is even worst you don’t have the ability to respond.
- Just like in an interview, religious and political views should be avoided at all times. It is highly likely you will get on the wrong side of someone.
- Linkedin and Facebook (and bebo and myspace and twitter) are interchangeable. Even though you split Linkedin as professional, Facebook as family, they do provide clues that an HR person can use.
Social networks are two edged swords, they can be incredibily helpful but they can be your worst enemy. Proceed with caution.
[originally published on my blog http://www.kiwibloke.org/archives/530]
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