The Career Impact of Social Networking: Only those who portray themselves positively can benefit
The dangers that Facebook and other sites can have on your career your personal life - and what you can do about it
- part 1 -
Social networks connect people across boundaries. The principle is simple: members are offered electronic space for photos, blogs and videos on the Internet in order to share their information with other members of the same social site. For people who like to keep others constantly informed about their lives and achievements, social networks are the perfect medium. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can expand your circle of online friends tremendously. For these reasons, it is not surprising that these networks have quickly advanced to collectively become the most popular Internet service available.
However, we rarely think about the danger of someone misusing the diverse information we post. Conversations that include statements like: "What!? You posted that on Twitter?! Are you kidding me?!” are no longer uncommon. Red flags should really go up whenever you hear something like this from your boss.
When it comes to social networking, the problem is not limited to WHAT someone writes, but also includes a general risk of privacy. This stems from the fact that the protection of personal data on social networking sites is often inadequate. Therefore, each of us need to consider how much we want to reveal about ourselves on a network and set t personal security settings accordingly. Those who generously put their private lives on display must, quite frankly, also expect other parties to view information and photos for whom the postings were not necessarily intended – and this can have serious consequences.
Be especially careful while on the job market
Imagine the following scenario: From the looks of things, you’ve got the perfect skills for a particular advertised job and it fits your personal requirements - everything seems great. You may have even made it through the first round of interviews. So far, you have only received encouraging feedback, and your dream job seems like it’s in the bag. And then you get this e-mail: "Due to your comments on an Internet portal, we are obligated to inform you that you will not be considered as a candidate for the position due to the fact that your online conduct conflicts with the guidelines of our company." These scenarios and the interview cancellations that often follow face more and more candidates today because they have exposed too much information on social networks like Facebook, Xing, LinkedIn, etc.
This trend is not surprising. According to research by Microsoft, 59% of HR decision makers in Germany do not rely solely on the information available in candidates application forms, but they also check candidates’ online profiles. Sixteen percent of candidates are pulled from the application process due to inappropriate comments, photos or videos. In addition, results of a survey carried out by the e-mail security firm, Proofpoint, show that U.S. companies go even further: 7% have terminated employees because of activities in social networks and another 20% have given disciplinary warnings. As a result, it is not surprising that a Facebook group entitled: "Fired by Facebook" has been in existence for some time now. This report warns group members about what types of online activities may lead to job termination and what you can do to prevent something similar happening to you.
Social networks represent an organization’s employees
On the other hand, many companies have good reason to follow the conduct of their employees’ activities on social networks and to respond accordingly. The most common concerns that companies have involve public image, the disclosure of confidential information, and employee safety. This being said, when it comes to employees’ off-the-job Internet activities, German companies generally feel that they are at odds with the 2006 Equal Treatment Act. This act, which addresses the protection of individuals’ rights has recently led to termination statements such as: "We hereby give you notice of your termination as of June 30, 2011, due to statements which can be read on the social networking site, Xing, in which you insinuate that you no longer wish to be a representative of our organization. Your personal behavior casts our organization in a very poor light.”
to continue to part 2 click here
A guide to optimizing LinkedIn for job search How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Get More Jobs. I worked on this article with a LinkedIn representative, and it offers valuable advice.
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