Business Today

Can social media help you get a job?

Yes it can, but watch out for pitfalls.

Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: June 13, 2010

Twitter arrived in India a while ago and its impact was underlined by the brouhaha surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL) recently. But, can you use Twitter or other online social platforms more gainfully? As in, can you use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to find a job?

A London-based start-up, BraveNewTalent.com, hopes to help you do just that by building an environment where employers and potential talent can both sign up. A potential employee can follow a company he is interested in, and if the company is interested in recruiting the employee, it (well, someone in the Human Resources team) can read up and find out a bit about the person on the basis of his or her social connections and interests.

Think of it as a very focussed social network, though one could argue that you could do a similar thing on the much larger LinkedIn, where several companies actively post jobs. In fact, if one builds his network up sufficiently well enough, there could be several job opportunities on that network every week.

As for Twitter, if you have a large enough (500 people plus) following, you could, on the strength of your network, even pitch for a job on Twitter. Some people have done exactly that, and now a new third-party Twitter application 'TwitRes' allows one to post his resume on Twitter as well. The same goes for Facebook, where though it might be a bit desperate to pitch for a job on your status bar, you could send messages to your friends, who could help you out.

There is a fair chance that a potential employer might do a Google search on you. If you have a fairly common name, it might not be that bad. But, thanks to new (non) privacy policies at Facebook and the ubiquitous reach of Google web spiders that index everything online, there may be a lot of things that your potential employer might find out about you that you would rather they would not.

While social media can help you find a job, it could also play a part in you not getting a job. Adjust your privacy levels to keep private matters private and away from prying eyes and do not try to hide things from your potential employers. In an open world, it is probably better to be honest.

Netting Jobs

  • Do not feel shy to use social media for making discrete queries regarding jobs.
  • Use services such as LinkedIn to build up your professional profile. Specialists like BraveNewTalent.com are also coming up.
  • Maintain your online presence carefully. Potential employers might Google to find out information that you do not want them to know.
  • Set your privacy levels high and untag yourself from images and videos you do not want others to see.

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