5 Ways Social Media Could Be Hurting Your Job Search

5 Ways Social Media Could Be Hurting Your Job Search

Social media is awesome, isn’t it? It does so much and asks so little. And using social media the right way can hook you up with the right people, in the right place, at the right time. When used to its fullest potential, actively engaging a network online can transcend your social media game from person to personality – someone who engages his circle and provides interesting and relevant content to the masses.

However, like most good things, social media can be a real killer for job seekers who use it inappropriately. Any big no-no on a profile can be an ultimate deal-breaker in a matter of seconds, with no recourse and no notification. Are you sure your social media game is helping – not hurting – your cause? Check out these five ways that your social media efforts could be killing your job search.

1. You’ve Got Friends in Low Places (Thanks, Garth Brooks)

As much as you might love your fraternity brother who never really grew out of theA Animal HouseA phase, your prospective boss might not. Employers will not judge you solely based on your connections, but having a wild child as an online friend posting inappropriate status updates and photos still can kill your chances for landing a plum job.

Pay attention to how you interact with your friend and how they work with you. If you sign on to find the occasional profane comment or dirty picture tag, it’s time to set some limits. Talk to your friend about who is reading your profile and/or change your settings to restrict who can post/tag what.

2. Is Anybody Out There?

It’s one thing to join a social network; it’s another thing to participate. If you don’t have the time for social media, don’t make an account. An empty or barren social media profile says that you start things you can’t finish and aren’t taking advantage of the tools you have.

More and more employersA are searching candidates on Google, so that MySpace profile you started and thereafter neglected will pop up. Hit the basics by including a current (and appropriate) picture, basic info, and updating at least once a week. If you can’t do that much, delete any accounts that are not adding value.

3. T.M.I (No More Need Be Said)

On the flip side, a common problem many job seekers run into is puttingA too muchA out there on social media. While it might be awesome to share all those wickedly funny party photos and NSFW videos with your friends, your current or potential employer might not appreciate the humor.

Additionally, the job search is a lot like dating. When you’re gainfully employed, your current employer isn’t going to want to see you actively job-searching on Facebook. If you’re shopping around, many recruiters and hiring managers will lose interest if they see you getting cozy with another company.

Know what to share, when to share it and with whom. Be discreet. Your privacy and how you value and protect it is also a critically important attribute of your online brand.

Maintain a certain level of professional aloofness by limiting the content you upload and checking your privacy settings frequently.

4. Man of Many Talents

We’ve all seen statistics describing social media as a great tactic for all job seekers. However, remember that the job search should only be about 20% online, and social media is just one part of that.

You have many talents. You cannot demonstrate the various facets of your personal and professional brand exclusively via online tools, no matter how sophisticated the social networking platform or your digital marketing skills. So make it a point to practice all of your networking skills, and get away from the keyboard once in a while to talk with someone face-to-face.

If you rely on social media too heavily, you’re going to become a one-hit wonder real quick. Employers want to see candidates who are well-rounded with their branding and job search methods.

5. It’s a Time-Suck

Admit it, you’ve spent a little too much time friending onA Facebook, tweeting onA Twitter, pinning onA Pinterest, or grouping into circles onA Google+. That’s fine. Social media wasn’t meant to simply be a job search tool – it’s a place to have fun, connect with friends and, maybe, see how that girl you knew in high school is doing now.

However, be aware that five minutes can turn into an hour on social media, which can seriously hurt your job search efforts. Stay focused on your job search, and set time aside in your day for “fun” social media so that it doesn’t run away with you.

What do you think? What other ways can social media kill your job search? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

As always, you can count on EresumeX as your free job search portal.

~Dawn Krovicka