How socially smart are you online?

All about Social Networks and Employment, Using Facebook and Twitter and other Social Networks to Impress an Employer and more on Mywage Zambia.

The ongoing explosion of social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn is changing the way employers perceive their potential workers. So much has been said about the pros and cons of social networking websites in the job market.

Mywage Zambia has compiled a check-list of important things that one needs to consider before signing up to a social networking website.

Do I need a profile on social networking websites?

Yes – establishing yourself online is very important. Your presence online raises your profile and serves as a marketing platform towards your potential employers. Job seekers must to sign-up on social networking websites so that they can use the online platforms to outline portfolios of their skills, experience, work samples and anything related to their career.

Do employers consider information on social networking websites when evaluating job applications?

There is no definite answer but more and more employers are using social networking websites to assess their candidates. It is therefore advisable to maintain a "clean" and professional profile online. 

For example, Facebook clearly states in its employment policy, "We may access publicly available information from your Facebook profile as part of your application." This means that whatever is placed on your profile might be used to assess your application for employment.

What key elements should I include on my online profile?

Your online profile serves as your résumé therefore, make sure that you put only information that you think will portray a professional picture of you. 

Here is are a few tips to help you establish a good profile online

  • Correct name – avoid pseudo  or "celebrity" names and images
  •  Always be aware that employers also exist on social networking websites and they can accessmaterial that is posted
  • Include your work experience or areas of expertise 
  • Highlight your best skills
  • Avoid indecent images or vulgar language 
  • Post only material that is relevant to your career and professional ambitions 
  • Use your profile as a platform to interact and network with experts and select your followers, subscribers or friends carefully
  • Avoid posting commentaries, images, videos or text that undermine other users’ gender, race, religion, disability, ethnicity or sexual orientation
  • Always update your profile regularly just like you do with your Curriculum Vitae.
  • Make sure you protect your passwords and avoid sharing them with anyone.The internet is not 100 percent secure so ensure that you maintain high security standards. You do not want hackers or scammers using your profile for illicit activities.

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