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The Octopus – Hiding Facebook For Future Employers

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Mar 23, 2012 in Interviewing Skills, Lessons Learned, Self Improvement

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One of the most well-known defense abilities of Octopi, besides mimicry, is the expulsion of ink. The preferable defense, of course, is to simply not be seen. This can be achieved by squeezing into tight places and camouflaging to avoid detection. If they are spotted by a predator, the Octopus can eject ink in a large cloud to cover their escape.

For years experts have warned job seekers that their Facebook profiles and other social media accounts may very well hinder their chances of employment—anything like controversial statuses and/or unflattering drunken photos are enough to get your resume thrown in the trash can. After all, employers want someone who will be able to represent their business in a good light.

While in the past job applicants were able to safe guard and restrict their personal information from prying eyes simply by changing their privacy settings, much like the Octopus prefers to hide, some interviewees may no longer have that added sense of security. Employers are getting a lot smarter. Rather than hiring an expensive IT specialist to hack into your account or trying to “friend” candidates on the social media site, some employers are doing something rather blunt: directly asking for an applicant’s Facebook username and password during the interview.

Headlines report that this trend is slowly sweeping the nation. Employers ask job applicants for log-in information so that he or she can evaluate the applicant’s Facebook page later on; or an employer will ask the applicant to log-on Facebook in front of him or her before the interview is over. It’s a technique that can definitely be seen as a violation of privacy. But for those desperate for a job, they have no other choice but to oblige to the interviewer’s request.

Other big-name companies like Sears may not go as far as asking for log-in information directly, but they do manage to get ahold of your Facebook profile information in a more subtle way: via Facebook apps. Some companies make job applications available on Facebook. In order to access and submit the application however, users must first agree to the app’s terms and conditions which specifically say third parties can access profile information such as photos and your friends list. Hiding may no longer be enough.

So what to do and how can you prevent your Facebook from hindering your employment opportunities? For starters you can do some major spring cleaning. Obviously setting certain photos albums to private isn’t enough, so back the photos up on your hard drive and delete sketchy photo albums entirely on your profile. It’s also a good idea to change what you post and the frequency —don’t complain too much or sound whiny (no dissing your ex or post about the turmoil’s of not being employed); be informative—links to news articles are ok because it shows that you know what’s happening in the world; refrain from posting too many YouTube music videos; and most importantly keep every status update G –rated.  Go ahead and delete a few statuses that you think might make you look bad. Facebook’s new Timeline makes this process a little easier.

If you think your Facebook is just too much of a mess, remember that you could always delete it—temporarily or permanently. After all, interviewers can’t punish you for having something inappropriate on your Facebook if you don’t have one.  Deactivating it during the period of applying and a few weeks after you’re hired is a great idea. But if you want to delete your Facebook entirely, remember you must e-mail the Facebook administration so that they can take it down for you. “Inking” the elements of your online presence that are less desirable to employers so that they cannot find them may save you, just like the Octopus.

Update! Facebook speaks out against employers asking for passwords.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Vines – Navigating the Network

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Aug 24, 2010 in Building Confidence, Executive Coaching, Job Search

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There’s no question that networking has a lot to offer for those who are in the job search jungle. You can find job leads, meet new people, find resources, and just have fun sharing your job search story with others who are in the same boat. The people you’ll meet through networking are the vines that will help you sail through the job search jungle, moving from one supportive vine to another, helping you to find what you’re looking for.

As you make your way through the job search jungle, take the time to get to know others in and out of your industry. Developing relationships with other professionals will help you to improve the outcome of your job search, and can offer you value along the way, even after you’ve found a great job. Attend events that are popular with the people you’d like to be acquainted with, spend time with those you already know, and make it a point to get to know friends of friends who may have something to offer you-or those who you may have something to offer to as well. You never know how networking relationships might pay off.

While you’re working on building relationships with your networking vines, be sure to carefully nurture what you’ve started. Check in with key contacts occasionally, even if you have nothing really important to say. Sometimes just a friendly phone call or lunch is enough to make a difference, and you’ll stay at the front of your contact’s mind when it comes time to offer something useful.

A great way to bring your networking vines together is to share information from others. If someone gives you a hot lead that you really can’t use, don’t dismiss it-keep it in mind for someone else who might be able to use it. When you call them up to share this valuable information, they just might be sparked to remember a great tip that you could put to use. Introduce your networking partners to each other, and always be willing to not only receive support, but to be supportive as well.

With the right attitude and good networking skills, you can find yourself with a great group of professional friends that will support you in your job search and beyond. Put your networking skills to work and find some great supportive vines for your job search today.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online college courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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