Social Networks and Your Search

Even Pope Benedict in a quote highlighted in this week’s Newsweek evidently understands the value of being honest in your dealings with Social Media:  “In the search for sharing for friends, there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself.” 

We have all heard the rationale for being honest with ourself and about ourself when it comes to the job search.  The days of false college degrees and spectacularly embellished results at your previous employer are well over. Google yourself and you can find things exposed to the public about you that even your mother might not know or appreciate.  The average background searcher, we aren’t even talking about the shrewed and talented recruiter yet, can certainly find much about a candidate at social media sites.

I know it is vital to get your foot in the door for that initial interview, especially today when there are so many candidates for that one “must have” position, but embellishing one’s resume with half-truths and down right lies will certainly not get you that important job but will also negatively target you with most search firms for many years to come.  You may think that you won’t be caught but just remember that once it is out on the web, you can’t get rid of it!

In a recent JobVite survey, a vendor of recruiting technology, 83% of employers said they are using or planning on using social media for recruitment.  Among 58% of the surveyed that had already hired through social networks, 89% used LinkedIn, versus 28% for Facebook and 14% for Twitter.

In a quote from, Ali Chambers, vice president of outplacement and executive-search firm Clear Rock stated that “Job hunters and hirers who are not using LinkedIn or similar networking tools are missing opportunities to connect with one another.”  Chambers concluded by stating:   “Having people at very senior levels giving testimony to your accomplishments –  how you add value and solve problems – may differentiate you from other candidates.”

LinkedIn‘s finance chief Steve Sordello speaking at last October’s CFO Rising Conference in Las Vegas remarked that LindkedIn’s member base of 80 million, with a million more members arriving every 10 days or so creates transparency that is useful for employers.  He concluded by stating, according to that “a person can exaggerate his credentials on a resume’ but on LinkedIn you’re online for everybody you ever worked with to see.  It’s hard to exaggerate.”

There are numerous tricks to get exposure with potential employers and search firms such as a robust and dynamic LinkedIn Public Profile that includes action verbs and recommendations that can speak to your professional results.  Recommendations from past mentors, supervisors and contemporaries can show a side of you that a typical resume can only hope to achieve.  My profile includes recommendations from 2 former Board Chairs who can speak personally about my qualifications and results.  It is important that you include your LinkedIn URL as part of your signature on all your e-mails and resumes which will give the viewer the opportunity to search further regarding your background and experiences. 

Job seeking is a whole new ballgame for those who haven’t been in this arena in the last few years.  You best use social media to your advantage because your competition is certainly partaking.  For those who have used various networking sites in the past to announce to the world about their political and social experiences, I would recommend that you cleanse anything that can be used against you.  I have never understood why you would put that stuff for all to see but when you are in search mode you certainly need to only show the positive side of you to potential employers.  You best limit access to only your “real” friends when it comes to that sort of personal information, if at all.

Social Media, especially LinkedIn is one more tool that job-seekers should be using to market oneself.  Pull all the tricks out of that bag because the more you use – the quicker people will notice you.  The quicker people notice you the more apt you are to find a new home – which is the result we are all looking for right now.  Happy hunting!


One thought on “Social Networks and Your Search

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