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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Protecting Your Brand Image; Social Media Sites Can Halt Employment Opportunities

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
For job seekers, comments expressed on social
media sites, like Facebook, can become factor
on landing a employment opportunity.
Facebook. Say the name and most people know exactly, what it is, right away. 

The world largest social media/networking site, has come to light again with a recent article on Huffington Post. For potential job seekers, it would be wise to take heed.

On November 16th, Huffington Post reported that former Alaska Governor - Sarah Palin's children, Willow (16) and Bristol (20) decided to use, what would best be described, as questionable language at the Facebook site. One of the users within the thread forward sent the information over to the celebrity website, TMZ.Com first and, the rest is history.

Lesson - words that are shared on a social media/networking sites, can be easily exposed for others to see.

A recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, noted in the New York Times on November 8th, has determined that talking about a company on Facebook can be described as “Water-Cooler Talk” and protected by workers’ free speech rights. 

But, what if you are not an employee of the company yet? Should you take to your Facebook page to discuss the organizations' application or thoughts about an recent interview?

The safe side of the line would say, probably not. Reasons to air on the side of caution could be simple as a user of a “like” fan page. A person that you recently accept as a friend from a short relationship on a Fan Page; happens to be employed by the company that you are speaking about, to closer Facebook friend on your personal page.

That "friend"/employee of the company, decides to forward the comments the Human Resources Department, or worse, the hiring manager. To say the chances your phone will ring with the phase, “We would like to bring you on board”, have come down to zero, is an understatement.

Companies are using social media sites, like Facebook, as a determining hiring factor. Noting such, the tagged photos of “Saturday Night at The Bar”, can quickly be interpreted as a reason, to offer the job to a fellow interviewee, as well as quickly formed comments or replies to others.

When seeking a new employment opportunity, protecting your brand image, is important. This includes the words, photo or comments, one might engage into, on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or other public social networking sites.

What are your thoughts on this article? Will you watch your future conversations or photos on social media sites, while seeking new employment opportunities, after reading this article? Why or why not?  Feel free to comment on this story below!
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