Prevent Social Networking Sites From Ruining Your Job Search

This post may seem more like advice for Gen Xers, but I urge any job seeker who uses social networking sites such as LinkedIn or blogginf services to take note: Your online identity can destroy your candidacy for some jobs.

Why? Simple, according to a recent press release from Adecco – recruiters and hiring managers are routinely “googling” candidates before calling them to conduct informal background research. What happens if, while doing so, the recruiter or hiring manager happens upon a blog rage you thought was private? Or a non-PG rated background at My Space? Or a sarcastic comment you made in a bulletin board?

Adecco points out that while these kinds of background material can be harmful, the opposite is also true – positive blog posts, forum comments, articles, and the like can help shape an employer’s persepctive of you and potentially lead to an interview you might not have otherwise achieved.

What is critical to remember these days is that career branding doesn’t simply encompass resumes, cover letters, and interviews. It also includes your Internet presence – for better or for worse. Be creative in sharing your expertise across the web and that creativity can help extend your reach into the Hidden Job Market. As Adecco points out, it may be wise to “google” yourself to see what kind of identity trail you’ve left online. Not a bad idea, is it?