Using Social Media in Your Employment Search

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Whether it means building relationships with prospective employers and career mentors on LinkedIn, tweeting industry knowledge, or showcasing your work on a professional website, establishing a professional online presence is a crucial part of the job and internship search today. No matter where you are in your career development, you can forge a professional path for yourself on social media using one or more of these online services.

Where Can I Find Northwestern Career Advancement Online?

Social Networking, Your Privacy and Your Reputation

When using the online resources and services mentioned above remember to make your presence "employer friendly." Networking sites may create an illusion of privacy, which is not quite accurate. As a social networking participant, your information is potentially accessible to a range of individuals. Prospective employers, professors, graduate school admissions committees, or the media may view your sites. As a result, your social networking activities may reach a wider audience than you anticipated.

How can social networking affect a job/internship offer?

A growing number of employers now use social media to research candidates. For many, this is an easy way to gather information to use in their employment selection process.

The following is a list of the most common indiscretions that can interfere with your future employment:

  • Promiscuous or inappropriate photos
  • Alcohol- or drug-related experiences
  • Complaints about bosses or supervisors
  • Vulgar language or content
  • Overly self-disclosing information
  • Music or videos with profanity or nudity

What can I do?

  • Adjust your privacy settings. Most social networking sites offer the option to only allow access to users you have approved.
  • Review your profile pages. Revise or remove information that may create an unfavorable professional image.
  • Google yourself. Perform an internet search on yourself and verify that the content listed is accurate and appropriate.
  • Given the widespread use of social media, it is likely that you communicate through at least one of these venues. Remember that the content on your site has the potential to portray you in a favorable or unfavorable manner, so take precautions to safeguard your image.