In today’s world, it is uncommon to not be and active participant on the internet in some way, shape, or form. When I first entered college in August 2006, the warning began. During this time, Facebook was still considered “new” and only college students were allowed on. But professors, advisors, faculty, and students warned incoming freshman to be cautious about what you and other people put on Facebook.

Now, Facebook is one of many active social media sites where people broadcast their lives. So how does this all affect the average job seeker? It does considerably. One of the first thing many employers do is google your name. What will they find? Some information about a volunteer event you helped organized or will they find a picture of you taking a keg stand?

Now, I am a big fan of work hard, play hard, so I am not suggesting you stop taking keg stands, but maybe not publish it on the internet for the world to see.

So, to start things off on a positive note, lets talk about the advantages of using social media.

Dan Schawbel, wrote a column on Mashable, 7 Secrets to Getting Your New Job Using Social Media. This article emphasises the uses of social media sites to highlight your attributes, network, and stand out of the crows. Twitter and LinkedIn are two common and successful ways of connecting with employers. More untraditional uses for social media included uploading a video resume and uploading it to YouTube.

Lyneka Little discusses three social media sites in particular that can help you land a job: Twitter, LinkedIn, and blitztime.”These sites put a new spin on old job search methods, increasing contacts while saving users the shoe leather and glad handing job seekers have traditionally relied on.” Through Twitter you can start up a conversations you might otherwise would never had the chance to have. These conversations can flourish into relationships and hopefully a lunch meeting. LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to search for job opportunities and keep an online resume posted at all times. Blitztime “offers “speed networking” that works as a connector by creating conference calls with like-minded careerists.

The pitfalls of social media when looking for a job lies within the user. Always keep in mind that whatever is put on to the internet can potentially forever be out there in the cyber world. For most of my generation, myself included, we have been on social media sites long before we started to think about our careers and the real world. Be mindful of what you say on the internet. Careerbuilder.com warns, in addition to the good social media can bring you within your career field, “it’s also becoming the latest way for people to get job offers rescinded, reprimanded at work and even fired.” As they put it, “terrible tweets” and “Facebook fired” can be the pitfalls of social media. These are some tips offered by careerbuilder to get hired and not fired:

1. Don’t announce interviews, raises or new jobs
As exemplified by “theconnor,” how you talk about any of these sensitive topics on your social networking site is key. If you’re unemployed, writing “Interview today — wish me luck!” would be OK, or if you got a job, something along the lines of “So excited about my new job!” is totally acceptable. If you’re currently employed, however, I don’t think your boss would be too happy to see something like, “Trying to con my boss into giving me a $5K raise. SUCKA!”

2. Don’t badmouth your current or previous employer
Just like in an interview, keep your rants about your boss or company to yourself. If hiring managers see that you’re willing to trash a colleague online they assume you’ll do it to them, too. Plus, there’s always the possibility of getting fired if someone sees your negative comments.

3. Don’t mention your job search if you’re still employed
If your boss knows you’re on the lookout for a new job, feel free to advertise it in your status. If you’re keeping your search below the radar, however, don’t publish anything, anywhere. Even if you aren’t connected to your boss online, somebody can get the information back to him or her.

If any of you are Kell on Earth fans, we also saw a girl get fired 5 minutes after she was hired because of her unauthorized tweeting about People’s Revolution. So another warning is, don’t talk about anything you should not be mad public information, like your companie’s buisness.

Social media is a great tool, especially for us job seekers. But, as always, be mindful of what you say, in person or online.

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