Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ten Online Do's and Don'ts for Jobseekers

by Nubia Dandridge, Jonathan Senecal, Amanda Pink, Jordan Burghardt and Karen Kring

On the afternoon of Tuesday, June 28, 2011, after the Youth Job Center of Evanston discussion at the Evanston Public Library about how to use social media to help find jobs, a few of us stayed late to assemble and share some key points from the conversation.

1) Search for yourself on Google and see how easily accessed your information is to strangers. Look for other people with the same name as you and what they are posting as well.

2) Watch out for the pictures and posts that you and others put on Facebook. Monitor photos you're tagged in and filter out the ones that may be inappropriate. Consider having a portrait made of yourself that gives a good first impression.

3) Don't use profanity or mention drug use or sex. Have an appropriate Facebook profile picture. No nudity.

4) Watch where you put your name. For example, don't create profiles everywhere or list your name on too many sites companies that may have access to that you'd not want to be associated with while looking for or maintaining a job.

4.5) Be cautious about your privacy settings on social media sites.

5) Beware of people who check you into places on Facebook.  As Daniel Schiller mentioned, you might not want some people to know too much about where you go and what you're doing.

6) Don't connect yourself with everything your friends do.

6.5) Post something positive on the "wall" of Facebook pages of organizations you'd enjoy working with or being associated with in some way, based on the kind of job you'd like to get.

7) Use Facebook status and notes to broadcast what you're interested in. Could post something like "Really interested in volunteering with an animal shelter this summer."

7.5) Create a Facebook "note", or a blog post for another site, that reflects your interests and integrity.

8) Even if you've only ever had one job, even as a volunteer, consider posting a profile for yourself on LinkedIn. Not only does it allow you to post past positions you've held, it allows you to post a narrative about yourself which you will allow potential employers to know more about you. LinkedIn is very popular with potential employers.

9) Find ways to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, as the old song goes.

10) "Like" the "Youth Job Center of Evanston" on Facebook.