I read a great story at The Baltimore Sun website this morning about the perils and benefits of social media for job seekers.
Yes, there are benefits.
I have written extensively about the importance of employing common sense when it comes to the ways in which you use social media. It's not complicated.
Posting drunk pics of yourself on Facebook: Bad. Tweeting about the award you won or recognition you received for a job well done: Good.
It continues to amaze me how some people fail to recognize the benefits of social media, and the ease of making it benefit them in a variety of ways. Especially if you are unemployed.
LinkedIn remains the key piece of any job search. More employers than ever before now regularly search the site for potential candidates and recruits. LinkedIn makes it easy to post your resume, work samples, links, accomplishments and anything else which comprises your work history.
But many employers also check Facebook, Twitter and even Google+ to learn a little more about possible employees. You might think you are being smart staying away from Facebook or blocking anyone from looking at your page, but in reality you are creating an air of suspicion when you should be throwing the doors wide open to anyone who wants to learn more about you.
Now, if you are an undercover police office, secret agent or criminal, perhaps you should have the maximum privacy settings or refrain from using social media at all. But for anyone else it doesn't make sense to eschew what is an excellent tool for finding a new job.
In fact, I found my current job at Rev Media Marketing through my use of Twitter and continue to receive new job offers from other social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. I am not actively looking for a new job--I enjoy what I do right now-but it is nice to know that I am creating a social media profile which is positive and attractive to employers, meaning I am at least not embarrassing myself online.
So, if you're looking for a job don't be afraid to use every facet of the Social Web to increase your chances of success. Just make certain you employ some common sense in the way you use it.