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The Hiring Process Social Media in Job Search

Question:

I know social networking is important for job search. I have a very professional LinkedIn profile. But my Facebook account is just for my family and friends. I think I should be able to say whatever I want there, including political and other rants. But I’ve been told that’s a bad idea. Why?

 

Answer:

Indeed, social (and face-to-face) networking is very important to job search, and it’s great that you have a good LinkedIn page. It will serve you well, because about 90% of employers use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool.


As you note, Facebook is generally used for family and friends, and is a much more casual platform. While you certainly can write or share whatever you want there, ranting and other questionable forms of communication probably won’t do you any favors, especially while you’re looking for a new job.


If an employer does nothing else by way of background check, he/she will Google your name and look for you on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Suppose your LinkedIn profile shows you as the perfect candidate, but your Facebook timeline suggests you are a troublemaker; what can that employer conclude? Or maybe you aren’t a Facebook troublemaker, but you are on the other end of the political spectrum; what then?


Employers like to make a safe hire, someone they know can do the job. If the employer concludes that you have the best skills, but you’re going to spend half your workday complaining about this or that, he/she must consider if you’re worth it. Maybe it would be easier to hire someone less skilled and train them instead.


Yes, you do have the right to put whatever you want on your own Facebook; no one should deny you that. But before you do, ask yourself if it will benefit you in the long run. Remember the Golden Rule of all social media: THINK BEFORE YOU POST!

 

About the Author

Beth Davis-Reinhold

Beth Davis-Reinhold is an instructor at Frederick County Workforce Services, where she has worked for over 20 years. She teaches job search seminars and basic computer skills. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, and is Internet and Computing Core Certified (IC3). Beth has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 15 years, and is an Advanced Communicator Silver. A graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Beth has also studied American Sign Language for many years. In addition to many sundry projects for FCWS, Beth writes its “Ask the Career Coach” blog.