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How Social Media is Muddying the Waters for Job Seekers

How Social Media is Muddying the Waters for Job Seekers

Teena Rose | CareerRealism

The deeper issue is whether employers should be allowed to open that flood gate by bringing social media activities into the hiring world in the first place. I’m reminded of a line from the movie Jurassic Park. When referring to scientists, Jeff Goldblum’s character says, “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Maybe employers poking through a job seeker’s online activities are so preoccupied with the fact they could, they never stopped to think whether they should.

Ahh, but hiring companies won’t find my online activities. Think again. Technology giants have only just begun leveraging the social media phenomena; and not surprisingly, for financial gain.

Microsoft announced the integration of Social Connector software, which will be released mid-2010. The add-on software is designed to let someone like me readily see the online communications from those who send me e-mail. Microsoft’s Group Product Manager, Dev Balasubramanian, was quoted as saying: “As you communicate you can see their social activities; you can see all the folks in your social network and it updates as you are reading your e-mail.” Certainly it appears to offer great benefits to the masses, but for job seekers, it just might leave an unpleasant sour aftertaste.

No doubt, employers will soon be given a larger spy glass — and unfortunate for job seekers, Microsoft isn’t the only company abuzz with developing new applications that will take public social media data and translate it into something that can be researched and used, for good and evil.

Regardless, employers need to take a long look at their current hiring practices to determine whether a drunken party photo showing Joe Job Seeker has anything to do with the value Joe brings to the table professionally, and how well he performs while on the job.



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Teena Rose is a Personal Branding Strategist, Career Coach, and Professional 10-Year Resume Writer. She is highly endorsed and recommended, making her your best choice for job-search and career success. She has been helping professionals grow, excel, and succeed since 1999. Contact Teena at admin@resumetoreferral.com, via LinkedIn and/or follow her on Twitter



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