Social Media: Help or Hindrance? (Part 3) by Retha Du Plessis

Whatever did we do before we had the internet?


Well, we used books and encyclopedias and we talked to people to get the information we needed. We also relied on our network to provide prospective employers the references they need to decide on whether to employ a candidate or not.  But does this make it easier for us to find and secure a job in the 21st century? This week we will explore the power of the internet and how it can have an impact on our job search – both positive and negative.

Tip # 3

Consider this, according to Google, 16% of the searches that occur every day are ones that the search engine has not seen before – what a powerful tool it is to still be able to produce a result in the case – and even more staggering is the fact that people all over the globe add to this content every day in order for you to find results.

What this means is that Recruiters may start with this even before they consider your resume or social media platforms.  Here is an activity for you - Google yourself. It is amazing what comes up when you do that, including images.  In the previous article I talked about reviewing your privacy settings, and this is the reason why.  If your social media platforms are public, it is not just public on those applications, but it will come up during a Google search for everyone to see. Images, comments, activities and your experience or qualifications can be uncovered through a simple search.

But here is the good news,

and similar to that social media platforms, you can use the internet to your advantage.  With a little bit of work on your part, you can increase the positive footprint you have on the internet.  According to Forbes magazine, by engaging in a meaningful way with networking communities, participating in group discussions, sharing expertise or pointing someone to an article or an organisation to assist with their query, shows that you are committed and interested.

Remember, looking for a job is not just about typing up a resume.  If there are opportunities for you to get noticed by prospective employers, take it and run with it.  Wise words from Forbes: “While it can feel uncomfortable putting yourself out there, if you’re looking for a job, it’s not the time to be timid”.

In closing, please remember that the information you present to an employer in your resume and potential interview, must be consistent with what is presented online.  Your LinkedIn profile and resume need to match, and some recruiters may even contact organisations where you are volunteering to ensure that you are presenting yourself truthfully.

Have a great week everyone. Next week for Tip #4 we will talk about creating a LinkedIn profile – a powerful tool to get noticed by employers and recruiters alike.


Retha du Plessis, HR Specialist

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