By Barbara Perone
Mature job seekers are constantly being hounded to become active on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ to network socially with more & more people and hopefully find a job through a connection or contact.
Serious job seekers did rush to get on the LinkedIn bandwagon because it had long been touted as “Facebook for job seekers.” But, have you ever actually known anyone who got a job due primarily to a connection, or contact, he or she made on a social networking site?
What about all the time and effort it takes to constantly update your profile/account information on these multiple sites? If you don’t update often enough, experts say it makes you look lazy or disinterested or both.
And just how do prospective employers actually use these sites. They could see a photo or read something on you profile and decide not to offer you a position based on what they saw. Excluding the obvious reasons — photos of you drinking alcohol or using drugs/foul language — you may never really know what it was they found so objectionable.
Still, some experts maintain it is a must for the unemployed to play the social networking game. But, a few believe the whole idea is already passé and waning in popularity. In fact, some label the sites as fads that have already peaked and are losing steam faster what was comes out of your grandmother’s old fashioned iron.
And, if companies are truly asking interviewees to turn over their logins and passwords for their social media sites, that may be enough to scare the average job hunter into closing down all of his or her profiles/accounts permanently. Some job seekers find this sort of request offensive, over the line, and view it as a real invasion of their privacy.
New Jersey employers should be wary, too, about probing job candidates too deeply when it comes to the subject of social media. Recently, the state Legislature sent Governor Chris Christie a bill (A2878) that would ban companies here from making such requests of workers, or prospective employees. If the bill passes it would allow current, and prospective, employees to sue any employer requiring them to turn over their usernames or passwords for certain web sites. Companies that violate the proposed law would face $1,000 fine for the first violation and a $2,500 fine for each offense after that.
But, if social media does go by the wayside, what’s going to happen to the “likes” of all those people who are “friending?” What’s to become of those who are: “tweeting,” “pinning,” and “grouping into circles”? They may have to give up using their electronic device du jour, break down, and actually have to meet face-to-face with other unemployed people so they can share ideas about the best way to get a job. What a concept.
By the way, did you know that the typewriter is actually making a come back? It’s true, but that’s a story for another blog.
By Barbara Perone