Social media: Harmful or helpful?


Networking sites have become an integral part of our lives in recent years. Many young professionals will leave their hazy university days behind them, with a series of crazy profile pictures and inebriated tweets behind them, but how harmful will this be when they go on the job hunt? Could they use their social media footprint to their advantage?

Facebook

This is probably the largest and most personal of networking sites, either painting you in a professional or horrific light. If your profile is filled with pictures of parties, non-professional aspects and political rants, then you need to consider the site’s privacy options and anything else that your friends may post of you. This will prevent you from turning up on Google. By keeping full tabs on everything and letting your friends know not to tag you in anything extroverted, you can ensure that Facebook does not harm your job prospects.

If anything, it could be used for the greater good. Being a huge social media site, employers may find it easy to find you, so you can use your statuses or the site’s advertising features to ‘sell’ yourself.

Twitter

You need to be careful with Twitter as all tweets are open for anyone to see. It may be worth sifting through your past tweets and deleting anything that could paint you in a negative light. If this job seems too extensive, it might be worth deleting your profile altogether. You need to consider how much an online profile is worth compared to your chances of future employment.

At the same time, Twitter allows individuals to contact each other across the globe with a single click of a button. Use this to your advantage and network with similarly minded individuals. It could end up securing you a job.

LinkedIn

For young professionals, LinkedIn is the ultimate tool. You can upload your CV, meet connections, network within your industry and even post on job notice boards, all for free. Connections will even be able to endorse your skill set, helping you become very attractive to employers who may be scouring the web. By allowing you to meet professionals in the hospitality field, this site should be your point-of-call, the creme-de-la-creme of social media footprints.

The downside will be the amount of false information that people are often tempted to post about themselves. If you go down this route you will end up being caught in a web of lies in the future, which is never a good thing. Furthermore, if you are on the job hunt while already working elsewhere, your current manager may end up tracking this, so be careful.

Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr

These creative sites will enable you to boast how you go beyond hospitality skills and have more of a creative edge. These hobbies will set you apart from everyone else. Just be sure not to put your artistic pursuits online if they are offensive, political or controversial.

By monitoring your social media footprint online, you can use social networking sites as a major resource for the job hunt. And that’s a big ‘Like’ from us!