Social networking your way to a new job

The job-search process has undergone a revolution since the advent of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites, reports the New York Times. Job hunters today must learn to navigate the sometimes slippery social mores of online discourse—for instance, learning to promote themselves without coming off as self-involved. At the same time, they must be constantly vigilant about managing their online reputation; the slightest slip might discourage potential employers. “It’s almost like social media has replaced the white pages,” said Nancy Halverson, senior vice president for learning and talent development at the recruiting firm MRINetwork. “Recruiters don’t even know how to find you if you don’t have a presence online. It’s nonnegotiable—you have to have a profile on a social networking site.” For many people looking for work, however, the technological requirements of the modern job hunt present a profound hurdle. Increasingly, these people are turning up for help at the career offices and continuing education departments of their local universities and community colleges. “Teaching people how to use these new tools is really becoming one of the main things that we do in career counseling offices,” said Nancy Richmond, assistant director of career counseling and exploration at MIT. “We’re showing them that using social media is a great way to show employers that they’re on the forefront of cutting-edge trends. It can be extremely helpful for their careers.”

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