Benefits/Pitfalls of Social Media in the Job Search

February 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

Today’s blog topic is “benefits and pitfalls of social media in the job search”. I am going to start by listing some different type of social networks:

The above sites are just a few of many different types of social networks. In our Public Relations classes we are constantly being reminded of the benefits of social networking. The more networks you can be a part of, the better. Companies and even colleges are using social networks to view potential candidates. Many employers will now type a job applicant’s name into a search engine, such as Google, and view what comes up. You have a higher chance of having results if you are an active user of some of the above social networks. If you have a strong, positive profile, blog, etc. it could give you an edge over other applicants.

Some other benefits of social media are the many opportunities they offer. You can easily find people who share similar interests as you. You can also use them to find job listings or available internships. Sites such as Twitter can provide instant advice or recommendations. You can “tweet” a question and concern and almost instantly someone can reply to it. Companies are even hiring people to make company profiles so that they can share news with the many users of the sites. While people can gain jobs from social media, they can also lose them for the same reason.

Depending on the information you provide in your social networking sites can determine if it is benefiting or harming your reputation. Certain pictures or comments can be regarded as inappropriate and can be means for expulsion. I have a friend whose Mom is an elementary school teacher. She refuses to get a facebook profile because having one may out her job in jeopardy.  She would like to have one so that she can easily get on touch with old friends but the headmaster at her school has given strict instructions banning the employees to have one. Apparently, they are worried that student’s parents might see things on the teacher’s pages that they don’t approve of.

While networking has its advantages it also has its downfalls. I think there is a fine line between social networking and what could be considered an invasion of privacy. It is an open debate about how much of an impact social media should have on your professional and personal life. My only advice is be careful what you’re posting.



  1. marielorelei said,

    I think it’s strange that the employer of your friend’s mother has imposed a ban on the use of social networking sites. I would understand if the employer said that the use of social media in the work place was not allowed, because this is done by many organizations. The idea that the headmaster of the school would see it as within her power to dictate what her employees can do in their free time is just wrong. So long as she’s not posting anything offensive then there shouldn’t be anything about having a social media profile that might put her job at risk. There are definitely some personal rights being tampered with here.

  2. Practicum Blog Comments (11) « Life as a Dreamer said,

    […] Benefits/Pittfalls of Social Media in the Job Search by Jacqueline […]

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