May 16, 2011
Job seekers: Three reasons to censor your Facebook posts
[Photo by altemark]
Sure, it's smart to use the social networking site to announce that you've joined the ranks of the unemployed and are looking for opportunities in your field (you never know who might see your post and send you a rocking job lead). It's not smart, however, to post some variation of the following for 300 of your closest online "friends" to see:
"Well, folks, that job I thought I was going to get making holographic widgets for Company A fell through. So this month I'm interviewing for similar roles at Companies B and C. Stay tuned to see if and where I land..."
"What does a guy have to do to get hired by Company XYZ? I've been on the interview hamster wheel for weeks. Feel like I'm banging my head against the wall. Starting to wonder if I've been blacklisted."
Unfortunately, I see job seekers posting such updates on Facebook with alarming frequency. Here's why it's a mistake to share the specifics of your job search on Facebook:
Someone on your friend list might work at the company. Normally this would be a good thing. But grousing about the company's interview process or online application tool won't inspire anyone to put in a good word for you. And documenting the blow-by-blow of your job search on Facebook might make your contacts wonder whether you're a habitual oversharer who doesn't know when to keep mum in the business world.
One of your Facebook friends could be your competition. Call me paranoid, but with the job market still so tight, it's best not to publicly broadcast the who, what, and where of that job you're hoping to nab. If you don't know some of your Facebook friends very well, you don't know that one of them isn't going to poach your job lead.
You risk sounding bitter, thin-skinned, or worse. Yes, job hunting is frustrating, and, yes, unemployment can be terrifying. But there are better ways to ease the angst than sharing the intimate details of your job search on Facebook. You don't want to come across as pissy, incapable of handling professional rejection, or worse, desperate. Again, you never know who might be watching.
Do yourself a favor. If you want to tell friends that you're closing in a new job, send them a private message. Wait until you have the job offer -- and a firm start date -- in hand before broadcasting the news on your Facebook wall.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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