A Profile on a Social Network: Threats and Opportunities While Searching for a Job

Now it can be easily claimed that social networking has become a last decade's phenomenon. It is impossible to imagine contemporary Internet user without having a profile on one of social networks. To define it shortly, this is a service on the Internet which allows a consumer to create a personal profile in a certain system regarding some restrictions, form and extend social circle and become involved in some actions and events, express the personality, share the information, recommend, rank, criticise, advertise, etc.

"My Space" was the first successful social network (it was leading one in 2005 - 2008 according to visitors number), Facebook, Twitter took it over later. Currently LinkedIn is increasing day by day- it is a professional network. Pinterest has also appeared not long time ago and is mainly being used by women for sharing and searching for new ideas.

Sometimes people have created several profiles and use them for different purposes. For example, Facebook is used for contacts, information sharing, LinkedIn is used for professional networking. In order to create an attractive personal image, users often do not think and share their personal information, which, if not properly protected, is available for everybody. Recently people have encountered with some security and privacy issues.

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Nowadays it has become common that an employer is looking for information about a potential candidate on the Internet. Surely, there is still a lack of information which could allow to evaluate how much the personal information from the Internet has influence on employers' decisions. It could be even a base for social researches. In different countries of the world (especially, the USA) there was not even one case when the information reached employer's eyes and ears, for example, when the employee expressed something negative about the employer. And that leaded to negative consequences for employees themselves.

Here comes the conclusion that the employees should be responsible for their words, expressions and images on the Internet. If the company is not satisfied with the employee's actions on the Internet, it might take various, even radical actions. And it is highly possible that the tendency is just going to increase in the near future.

Here are 6 advice which could help not to empoison job search (probably any employee who appreciates his job position would not want any compromising photos to appear on an employer's desk).

1. Manage privacy settings.

Appoint some time and find out the certain social network using rules. Hide the irrelevant information from others. Before sharing the personal information, ask yourself for several times if people should really know it?

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2. Don't open your home doors for all people you know and meet in your life.

Often users on the Internet share all contact information, starting with e-mail address to telephone number or even home address. It is not really necessary: you can inform you friends about your phone number personally, and all others may send you a message on social internet network.

3. Use a nickname.

In the social networks, where you participate for a certain reason and goal (datings, crafts, etc.) use a nickname. There is no need to share your real details in such cases. Thus, you will avoid unnecessary associations, and the potential or current employer will not be able to abuse the information.

4. Be careful with your photos.

Photographies have a feature to spread around fast. Always try to share personal and others' photos responsibly. This way, you will diminish the chance that the photo from a party, which is not suitable for sharing, will not appear in a place it doesn't need to be.

5. Don't be afraid to praise yourself.

If you are engaged in any activities which are related to the position you are applying for (for example, you are writing a blog, articles, organise events, administer a website, etc.), include this information in creating a personal profile. May the employer, while searching for information about you, finds exactly what he doesn't expect to find- a proof that you are active and interested in different areas and try to realise practically. It is not advertised in job offers, but usually the employers are also curious about that.

6. Profile photo.

Use it. Even though you have hidden all your information from others to see, though your profile picture usually stays visible for other Internet users. Even if it is he only thing the potential employer can find about you on the Internet, use this opportunity. It does not necessarily need to be a result of time spent in a professional photo studio (although it could be an idea). However, the photo should be attractive and neat. Try to avoid nudity and extreme details.

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7. Try to google yourself afterwards. 

This way, you will see all information about you coming up and you will be able to manage it before your perspective employer may notice it. Try to delete all irrelevant information as little as possible. 

By following those advice, you will probably make your job easier and faster. Just remember to stay attentive and responsible all the time , and you can easily also make money online.