Facebook can get you fired but twitter can get you hired! The experts tell you how to use your favourite tool to your advantage.

Growing popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, which currently has 350 million active profiles, has seen these sites become more relevant when candidates are trying to find suitable employment, than ever before.

With this in mind recruitment and HR experts, RossJuliaRoss, have been prompted to highlight the importance that a social networking profile has on a jobseeker’s chances of landing the role they want, in 2010.

Group Marketing Director of RossJuliaRoss Caroline Vickers-Willis, says, “Many people who are currently looking for work or who are looking to change careers in 2010 don’t realise that in many circumstances, their online profiles can dramatically affect their chances of securing a job. But, this cuts both ways – candidates are also using social media and networking sites to research their potential manager and determine if they have the desired management characteristics.”

Increasingly, feedback to RossJuliaRoss is that today’s employers are using LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networking sites as part of the selection process, and for some candidates, the content included in their public profile reduces rather than enhances their employment prospects.

“It is a great lesson for anyone using social media, that if they have pictures of themselves in a state that they wouldn’t want their boss or colleagues to see, the chances are a potential employer will be influenced by this information when assessing their suitability for a position,” said Vickers-Willis.

Top guidelines for candidates using social media are:

· use social media to see what your potential employer’s employee management reputation is like and obtain a sense of the company’s own culture

· present yourself in social media profiles as effectively, professionally and actively as possible, as you would if your name were a brand

· match your social media “personality profile” to the personality of the type of companies you’d like to work in – if you want to work somewhere progressive, community-minded and dynamic, present yourself in this manner in your social media profiles

· your social media profile also reflects your on-line savvy and technology competency – use it to profile yourself in the best possible light

RossJuliaRoss advises all candidates to take a serious and objective look at their online profiles when searching for employment to optimise their job seeking chances.

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